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Edited, abridged and translated by 


from Zapiski O Revolutski 


The Russian Revolution 

This book was originally published in 1955 by Oxford 
University Press, and is reprinted by arrangement. 

First HARPER TORCHBOOK edition published 1962 



City Map of St. Petersburg viii-ix 



1 6 The Coalition 345 

17 In the Depths 368 

1 8 The First All-Russian Congress of Soviets 378 

19 The Coalition Splits under Stress 386 

20 The 'July Days' 424 



2 1 After 'July' : the Second and Third Coalitions 485 

22 The Scandal in Moscow 493 

23 The United Bourgeoisie Demonstrates 496 

24 The Dissolution of the Democracy after the Kornilov 

Revolt 522 

25 The Last Coalition 527 

26 The Pre-Parliament 535 



27 The Softening-up 547 

28 The Final Review 577 

29 Overture 587 

30 October 24th 603 

31 October 25th 620 

32 October 26th, Finale 648 

Index to the twaftfolutnes 669 



MARTOV AND DAN facing page 362 

October Revolution 362 


THE 'JULY DAYS 5 , A demonstration is fired on in the 
Nevsky Prospect 442 



City Map of St. Petersburg 

Part IV 

May 6th-July 8th 



WITH the birth of the Coalition Government events slowed down 
and lost their former dizzy speed. However urgently history 
continued to move forward, the revolution had begun to mark 
time. Between May and October tremendous events took place, 
but the phase of the revolution did not change and constituted a 
single unified period. The line of development was as straight 
as an arrow. Two attempts to turn it aside interrupted this 
straight line, but did not change its direction: the revolution 
quickly and easily returned to its previous course both after the 
July Days and after the Kornilov putsch. 

This evidently means that towards the beginning of May 
'political relations 5 in the revolution were completely crystal- 
lized, and had arrived at some sort of stable point. The bloc of 
the big and petty bourgeoisie was completely stable, unshakeable , 
and even formal from the beginning of May until October; 
and the policy of the united bourgeois front was the suffocation 
of the proletariat, Zimmerwald, and the entire revolution. It 
moved along a straight road to liquidation. 

This was the obverse side of the Coalition period. The reverse 
side was simply the enormous growth of discontent amongst the 
masses of the people, headed by the proletariat of the capital. 
Worn out by the war, hunger, and chaos, disillusioned by the 
policy of the Government, thirsting for the fruits of victory the 
masses of the people rallied in the struggle for the revolution and 
prepared themselves for new and decisive battles. 

Anyone looking at the policy of the Coalition was also seeing 
the success of Lenin, for these were two sides of the same medal. 
And amongst the genuine revolutionaries from the beginning of 
May on it was already being said: 'Bolshevik mole, you're 
digging magnificently!' 

* * * 

Soon after the March revolution the whole of the Russian 
plutocracy was consolidated in the Cadet Party. And the Cadets, 
while Miliukov was a Minister, were of course a completely 


Government party: any differences within the party were then 
expressed externally only in the degree of exasperation with the 
democracy and the Soviet. 

After the April Days, with the liquidation of Miliukov and the 
formation of a Coalition Government, things changed. The 
Coalition was a sort of external expression of how far the 
revolution had advanced. 

The Coalition had been created against the will of the leading 
Cadet circles. The Cadets, consequently, could in the nature of 
things no longer be a Government party as before. The course 
of events had left them behind the official Government. They 
became the Right Opposition an officially reactionary, counter- 
revolutionary force. And the differences within the Cadet Party 
were now expressed externally in the degree of opposition to the 

There were, to be sure, still some members of the party left in 
the Cabinet. The Cadets neither could nor wanted to break 
with the official Government. Since they were no longer capable 
of disrupting the Cabinet, and a boycott by them could no 
longer be dangerous to the revolution, the situation compelled 
them to cling to the Government with the utmost tenacity. 
Their opposition could only be 'diplomatically' disguised. They 
had to promise the new Cabinet their confidence and support, 
even though with an unmistakably sour expression. But in the 
nature of things there could be no question here of any real 
support since there was no confidence. 

The Cadets were the big bourgeoisie, together with the liberal 
professional classes who served them. The specific gravity of 
this party was of course very great. It was precisely with these 
strata that the revolutionary democracy had formed a Coalition. 
And their relationship to the new Government was charac- 

But of course the largest party at this time was the SRs. They 
were the petty-bourgeois democracy peasants, shop-keepers, 
Co-operators, minor officials, the Third Estate, the great mass 
of the indigent intelligentsia and all the unthinking ordinary 
people and odds and ends who had been stirred and shaken up 
by recent events. The intellectual SR circles, who shouted so 


loudly for 'Land and Freedom 5 were based In the cities on a 
dense stratum of soldiers of peasant origin and even of workers 
who had not been fully digested by the cauldron of the factories. 
And in the country this exclusive SR slogan had won exclusive 
control of all the peasantry. 

Generally speaking, in our peasant country this peasant party 
occupied its rightful place, and already it seemed to have laid 
the foundations of future supremacy. Growing at the beginning 
of the Coalition like an immense snowball., it had lately become 
the last word of fashion and begun to overflow far beyond its 
natural limits, encompassing spheres completely alien both to 
'Socialism' and to 'revolution'. This, the largest party, had 
attracted into itself both some of the temperamental upper 
bourgeoisie and some of the effusively liberal landowners, and 
in the footsteps of the highly popular new War Minister, 
Kerensky, solid masses of military people regular officers and 
even generals had begun to enter the party. Two and a half 
months before, presumably, not one of the latter would have 
hesitated to shoot or hand over to the executioner any passer-by 
he even suspected of being an SR. But my God ! what cannot 
'public opinion' and disinterested devotion to duty do with a 

And now this party, the biggest and most powerful in the 
revolution, was, in the person of its majority, giving the new 
Government the whole weight of its confidence and support, 
both in words and in deeds. . . The intermediate intellectual 
strata, as we know, had from the very first days of the revolution 
insisted on a coalition. Now their dreams were coming true; 
the philistines were revelling in their victory, and the unattached 
nondescripts wallowed in beatitude. 

The SR Party, the biggest and most powerful, at that time 
had two centres one more Right, the other more Left. One 
centre was Kerensky, the other Chernov. In addition, there was 
a tiny little centre in the person of the Bolshevik sympathizer 
Kamkov. Even before this, however, people like him had been 
invisible to the naked eye amidst the limitless sea of SR phili- 
stinism. But the whole of this mass was drawn towards the new 
Cabinet by these first two centres; for both Kerensky and 
Chernov were Ministers. The biggest party, having rightfully 
gathered under its banners the bulk of our petty-bourgeois 


country, was giving itself up entirely to the support of the new 

It would have seemed that the Coalition was standing on the 
firmest of foundations. But alas! the leaders of the petty- 
bourgeois SR masses proved faithful to the nature of their party. 
Flabby creatures without political personality, caught between 
the mighty millstones of capitalist society, they were bewildered 
by the dizzying events and failed to grasp their meaning. 
Buffeted by the tempest and shackled by the traditions and 
fetters of capitalist dictatorship, they cravenly renounced their 
own minimum programme and surrendered, with the revolu- 
tion and the popular masses into the bargain, to the mercy of 
the bourgeoisie. But in doing this they also lost these popular 
masses, who rejected their leaders and trampled them into the 
mud. When the masses saw with their own eyes that their 
leaders were incompetent and deceitful, and were not leading 
them forward, the petty-bourgeois political docility of the 
masses turned into a petty-bourgeois elemental outburst, and 
these same masses threw themselves headlong into the open 
arms of the Bolsheviks. 

At that time the SR Party was the biggest and the most 
powerful. But it was a colossus with a head of clay; it was not 
destined to become a really firm foundation for the new 
Government. The SR Party gave itself up entirely to the 
Coalition, it gave it everything it had. The loveliest girl in 
France could have given no more. But giving everything 
doesn't mean giving enough. And in the end Kerensky's and 
Chernov's million-headed flock in city and country was of no 
assistance to the Coalition. 

The question of the Mensheviks' attitude to the Coalition was 
not settled so simply. The Mensheviks, to be sure, had also given 
the new Cabinet two Ministers and, what is more, one of them 
was very important and the other very clever. But here of 
course there could not be the same ingenuousness, the same 
triumph, nor the same simple-minded confidence and support 
as those with which the petty-bourgeois populists greeted the 
Coalition. I've already related how during the birth-pangs of 
the new Government, at luncheon in the restaurant and after- 


wards on the platform, Skobelev vainly appealed to his hot- 
blooded heart and only under the irresistible pressure of Ms 
cold-blooded mind was compelled to accept a ministerial port- 
folio. Tsereteli had, one might say, simply yielded to force, and 
as Minister of Posts and Telegraphs considered himself the vic- 
tim of an unexpected chain of circumstances that had formed 
against his will. And the Menshevik chairman of the Soviet, 
Chkheidze, had resisted to the last ditch and was only reconciled 
in the face of an already accomplished fact. 

The then leaders of the Mensheviks, bound by international 
Socialist traditions, were in general inclined to shun this whole 
dubious enterprise. Perhaps the principal reason for this was 
doubt as to how the Menshevik party masses would accept these 
Social-Democratic portfolios. The doubt was justified; for the 
Menshevik section of the ruling Soviet bloc had somehow its 
special character, distinct from that of the SRs, and its own 
special fate. 

It's true that from the beginning of the revolution a mass of 
philistine elements, 'former' people, and the casual public, with 
nothing in common with the proletarian movement, had 
flooded the Menshevik Party as well as the SRs. Nevertheless, 
unlike the SRs, the Mensheviks had been protected up to a 
point by their reputation as a proletarian class party and their 
ties with the International. Hence the influx of obviously bour- 
geois and reactionary elements into this party was substantially 
smaller. And its proletarian core, which before the revolution 
had given an enormous preponderance to the Zimmerwald 
tendency in Menshevism, was incomparably stronger. And we 
know that after the revolution Zimmerwald continued to domi- 
nate the Menshevik Party up to the April Days themselves. 
Up to that time, even during the Coalition, the organizations in 
both Moscow and Petersburg were overwhelmingly Left and 
Internationalist. It was only the provincial fellow-travellers who 
took their line from Tsereteli and succeeded in dragging many 
organizations into the quagmire of patriotism and con- 

The attitude of the Men&heviks to the Coalition Government 
and to the acceptance of portfolios by party members was still 
unclear, and aroused the fears of the Menshevik Ministers them- 
selves. The decisive word was to be pronounced by the All- 


Russian Conference of Mensheviks, which opened in Petersburg 
on May gth. 

# # # 

The Conference got off to a flying start, and the very first 
morning session on May gth settled the hash of the central 
problem of the whole Conference, the attitude of the party to 
the Coalition, and the entry of members into the Cabinet. The 
debate was fierce and on both sides blows lained down heavily. 
But the results were fatal. 

A resolution approving of the Menshevik entry into the 
Coalition and promising the new Cabinet complete confidence 
and support was passed by a majority of 44 votes to n, with 
13 abstentions. 

This meant that the Menshevik-SR-Liberal bloc had 
definitely taken shape. The Mensheviks, like the SRs, had con- 
clusively and officially become a Government party. And more- 
over, in spite of the passionate onslaught of the minority, the 
Conference had settled its basic problem very easily and swiftly. 
Conclusively and officially the hegemony of opportunism and 
capitulationism in the Menshevik Party had been confirmed in 
some two or three hours. 

That same day I too went to the evening session of the 
Menshevik Conference. At that time I had, as before, no formal 
connexion with this party. To be sure, being present even as a 
spectator at meetings which were to decide the fate of Men- 
shevism in the revolution was far from uninteresting. But this 
was not what drew me to the Conference : I went to see Martov, 
whom I hadn't seen for just three years. 

Martov had arrived that same day, about 2 o'clock. A rather 
large group had come with him, including those eminent 
leaders of our movement and future distinguished figures of the 
revolution: Axelrod, Lunacharsky, 1 Ryazanov, 2 and others. 

1 Lunacharsky, Anatol Vasilyevich (1875-1933): educated in Switzerland; in 
the revolutionary movement from the age of seventeen; a Bolshevik from 1903, but 
with highly personal opinions, especially in philosophy. People's Commissar for 
Education after the October Revolution. (Ed.) 

2 Ryazanov, (Goldendach) David Borisovich (1870-1935?): celebrated as 
scholar of Marxism; founder and director of Marx-Engels Institute. Joined Bol- 
sheviks in July 1917 together with Interdistrictites. After the 1931 Trial of the 
Mensheviks he was removed from all his posts and left for the countryside, where he 
died. (Ed.) 


All of them, like Lenin but more than a month later, had 
passed through Germany in a 'sealed train'. 

A triumphal welcome at the Finland Station had been 
arranged for them, as for the leaders of the other parties. But, 
though I very much wanted to, this time I couldn't get to the 
station, because of their daytime arrival. For the same reason 
doubtless the welcome was less crowded and impressive than 
that for the SRs, and especially for the Bolsheviks. I was a little 
vexed for Martov not only because of my personal weakness 
for him, but also because of his incontestable objective impor- 
tance. Moreover, while awaiting his arrival I had for some days 
been scowling with jealous spite at the 'ministerialized' Soviet 
Menshevik chiefs, who were awaiting without special en- 
thusiasm or impatience, but rather with alarm and ill-will, the 
appearance in the revolutionary arena of the acknowledged 
ideological leader of the Mensheviks. 

It had been demonstrated more than once during the pre- 
ceding weeks that Martov occupied as before a consistent inter- 
nationalist position, sharply inimical to the ruling Soviet bloc. 
There was no doubt that he would take a firm stand against 
those participating in the Coalition. Truly an untimely 

Now, when the basic question was being decided at the Con- 
ference and the correlation offerees was still unclear God knew 
in which direction the party ship might be turned by the in- 
fluence of this old, experienced, most authoritative and popular 
helmsman! In any case the ministerial question appeared so 
urgent that it seemed completely impossible to delay the debate 
on it. Axelrod, the founder of Russian Social-Democracy, and 
Martov, its leader, were faced by the Conference with a, fait 
accompli just as the Conference itself had been faced with the 
fait accompli of the Coalition. How could one fail to be reminded 
of the Latin legal maxim: beati possidentes? 

I was late for the evening session and it was already breaking 
up when I arrived. The spacious hall and its corridors were 
filled by a dense crowd. The external aspect of the Conference 
was extremely imposing. A guest like myself might easily not 
even have been allowed into the meeting-hall, but they let me 
in anyhow, though without much pleasure. But Martov was sur- 
rounded by a dense barrier; 'seeing each other' was clearly out 


of the question, we had to limit ourselves to a handshake and a 
few words, hoping to renew our former friendly relations. 

It appeared that Martov had already spoken and rebuked the 
Soviet majority, now the party majority as well, both for the 
policy of compromise and for the Coalition. As in his telegrams 
from abroad he had defended the irreconcilable proletarian 
position, the position of class war, the position of a real struggle 
for peace, and not sugary hypocritical lisping about peace. 

But in spite of the passionate support of the minority, Mar- 
tov's isolation from the compact group of Menshevik leaders, his 
former followers, friends, and disciples, and simultaneously his 
rupture with the party majority, stood out in full relief. Tradi- 
tion prevented the partisans of Dan and Tsereteli from attacking 
Martov directly: that was still left for the near future. But the 
prevailing mood of hostility had already completely crystallized, 
and coldness was already evident at the first reunion. 

Martov, the begetter of Menshevism, its incomparable, almost 
its sole theoretician, its most authoritative and popular chieftain 
was now no longer the leader of his own party. Philistine 
notions and their exponents had led the Menshevik Party away 
from Martov far away, into neither more nor less than the 
camp of the bourgeoisie. Only a small group remained with 
Martov. It was a catastrophe. 

It didn't shake Martov. He stood his ground, with his small 
group and without the old Menshevik Party, until October. 
After October a reconquest of the Menshevik Party by Martov 
began, and by a year after October he had returned to his 
customary position as the generally acknowledged leader of 
Menshevism. But that was too late. 

Martov a vast theme. I won't attempt a thorough-going 
treatment of it, in view of my constant references to him : we 
worked side by side both before and after October. Nevertheless 
it's very tempting now to note his basic traits, to establish, so to 
speak, the general pattern of this distinguished figure, not only 
of our own but of the European working-class movement. All 
the more so since there was relatively little interest in him 
during the revolution. The fates decreed that he should not play 
a prominent part in the events of these last years, but never- 


theless he was and remains a star of the first magnitude, one of 
the few whose names were characteristic of our epoch. 

I had seen Martov for the first time in Paris in 1903. He was 
then 29 years old. At that time he, with Lenin and Plekhanov, 
made up the editorial board of Iskra, and he gave propaganda 
lectures to the Russian colonies abroad, waging a bitter struggle 
against the SRs, who were increasing in strength. He was 
already famous among the expatriates and lived somewhere 
on Olympus, amidst other such deities, and people in the 
Russian colony, meeting his spare, hobbling figure, would nudge 
one another. 

Although I was not convinced by his arguments at that time, 
I remember very well the enormous impression made on me by 
his erudition and his intellectual and dialectical power. I was, to 
be sure, an absolute fledgeling, but I felt that Martov's speeches 
filled my head with new ideas ; without sympathizing with him, 
I watched him emerge victorious in his bouts with the populist 
chiefs. Trotsky, in spite of his showiness, did not produce a tenth 
of his effect and seemed no more than his echo. 

In those days Martov also revealed his qualities as an orator. 
These are rather singular. He has not a single external oratorical 
gift. A completely unimpressive, puny little body, standing if 
possible half-turned away from the audience, with stiff mono- 
tonous gestures; indistinct diction, a weak and muffled voice, 
hoarse in 1917 and still so now; his speech in general far from 
smooth, with clipped words and full of pauses; finally, an 
abstractness in exposition exhausting to a mass audience. Tens 
of thousands of people retain this impression of him. But all this 
doesn't prevent him from being a remarkable orator. For a 
man's qualities should be judged not by what he does but by 
what he may do, and Martov the orator is, of course, capable of 
making you forget all his oratorical faults. At some moments he 
rises to an extraordinary, breath-taking height. These are either 
critical moments, or occasions of special excitement, among a 
lively, heckling crowd actively 'participating in the debate'. 
Then Martov's speech turns into a dazzling firework display of 
images, epithets, and similes; his blows acquire enormous power, 
his sarcasms extraordinary sharpness, his improvisations the 
quality of a magnificently staged artistic production. In his 
memoirs Lunacharsky acknowledges this and says that Martov 


was the incomparable master of the summing up. Anyone who 
knew Martov the orator well can confirm this. 

In our Paris days I didn't know him personally. Then, in 
1904-5, cooped up in the Taganka 1 in Moscow, and carefully 
studying Iskra* I perceived other qualities of Martov' s as a 
remarkable writer and journalist. Our foreign, illegal, Social- 
Democratic press, thought to be beyond the pale of Russian 
journalism, introduced a whole group of first-rate writers 
Plekhanov, Martov, Trotsky, and perhaps Lenin. All these of 
course should stand in the front rank of our journalistic history. 
But surely Martov must be given the palm; no one had a pen 
like his; no one showed himself so completely its master in the 
full meaning of the word. He was capable, when necessary, of 
giving his writing the brilliant wit of Plekhanov, the striking 
power of Lenin, the elegant finish of Trotsky. 

One of Martov's basic traits is effectively illustrated in his 
writing. Here, however, it may not appear uniquely excep- 
tional; but in any personal encounter with him, whether 
private or concerned with public affairs, it leaps to the eye at 
once. This trait is a mind of extraordinary power and develop- 
ment. In my time I've had the fortune to meet not a few remark- 
able contemporaries scientists, artists, and statesmen with 
world names. But I have never doubted for a moment that 
Martov is the most intelligent man I've ever known. 

It used to be said of our ancient magicians that they saw three 
yards into the earth beneath you. Martov constantly reminds 
you of this. An incomparable political analyst, he has the 
capacity of grasping, anticipating, and evaluating the psycho- 
logy, train of ideas, and sources of his interlocutor's argumenta- 
tion. Hence a conversation with Martov always has a special 
character, as with no one else in the world, and always provides 
a peculiar enjoyment, however disagreeable the theme, how- 
ever sharp at times the disagreement and virulent the re- 
criminations. When you talk to him, it does not occur to you 
that you won't be understood; you can feel no doubts on this 

1 A gaol in Moscow, for both criminal and political offenders. (Ed.) 

2 A Social-Democratic paper founded in 1900 by Lenin, Martov, and Potresov, 
under the sponsorship of Plekhanov, Axelrod, and Vera Zasulich; after the Social- 
Democratic split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks in 1903 it was in Menshevik hands 
until 1905, when it ceased publication. In 1917 Martov started a bulletin also 
called Jskra. (Ed.) 


score. Here the slightest hint or gesture is enough to provoke a 
response that pierces to the very hub of the question and fore- 
stalls any further arguments around its periphery. 

Martov is an incomparable political thinker and a remarkable 
analyst because of his exceptional intellect. But this intellect 
dominates his whole personality to such an extent that an un- 
expected conclusion begins to thrust itself on you: Martov owes 
not, only his good side to this intellect, but also his bad side, 
not only his highly cultivated thinking apparatus but also his 
weakness in action. 

Of course it's impossible to blame only his omnivorous intel- 
lect for his incapacity for practical combat. A lot must be 
ascribed to other general qualities. Nevertheless, in speaking of 
Martov, it would be perfectly just to develop the theme of Woe 
from Wit. 1 

First of all, to understand everything is to forgive everything. 
And Martov, who always has an exhaustive understanding of 
his opponent, is to a substantial degree condemned by virtue of 
this very understanding to that mildness and submissiveness to 
his ideological adversaries that characterizes him. To a con- 
siderable extent it is precisely Martov's breadth of view that ties 
his hands in intellectual combat and condemns him to the role 
of critic, of perpetual 'Opposition'. 

Secondly, it must be said that since the birth of the most 
famous of analysts, Prince Hamlet, analysis, as the supreme 
quality of a character, is never divorced from Hamletism. That 
is, an intellect that dominates everything is a source of softening 
of the will and of indecisiveness in action. With Martov, who is a 
thinking apparatus par excellence, the centres of restraint are too 
strong to allow him the free and reckless acts of combat, the 
revolutionary feats that no longer demand the reason, but only 
the will. 

C I knew,' Trotsky said to me much later, not long before these 
lines were written, ( I knew Martov would be destroyed by the 

Trotsky expressed himself too one-sidedly. His words actually 
mean that in a revolution Martov could not occupy a place 
corresponding to his specific weight, for reasons inherent in 

1 A famous satirical comedy by Alexander Scrgeyevich Griboyedov (1795-1829). 



himself. This is not so. Reasons outside himself had much greater 
significance. But it is true that Martov's sphere is theory, not 
practice. And when this epoch of fabulous exploits, of the 
greatest deeds in history began, then this star of the first magni- 
tude of the underground period, the equal of Lenin and Trotsky, 
was eclipsed by the light even of comparatively minor luminaries 
like Dan and Tsereteli. There are a number of reasons for this 
as we shall see later on. But again the same paradoxical reason 
stands out among them : Martov was too intelligent to be a first- 
class revolutionary. 

His excessive, all-embracing analytical thinking apparatus 
was no help and was sometimes a hindrance in the fire of battle, 
amidst the unprecedented play of the elements. And later we 
shall see even in my account, the account of a follower and 
apprentice to what criminal inactivity Martov was con- 
demned more than once by his Hamletism and his ultra- 
refined analytical web-spinning at moments demanding action 
and aggressiveness. These moments critical moments! will 
always remain my bitterest memories of the revolution. For the 
consequences of his errors in these critical moments were 
enormous, if not for the revolution as a whole, at least for his 
party and for himself. l 

* * * 

The Menshevik Conference had given the victory to the 
petty-bourgeois, conciliationist Soviet majority and turned the 
Mensheviks into a Government party. But the differences within 
the party were too great: the internationalist minority at the 
Conference, headed by Martov, stood, so to speak, on the other 
side of the barricades, side by side with Lenin's party. The party 

This was, to be sure, more de facto than formal, and was seen 
principally in the big centres, remaining unknown and obscure 
to the many thousands of converts in the remote provinces. 

It goes without saying that the Central Committee elected 
was conciliationist. Its decisions, however, did not commit 
either the party minority or its (two or three) internationalist 
members to anything whatever. The extremely influential and 

1 After the October Revolution, to which Martov was hostile, he was exiled (in 
1921). He was one of the founders of the so-called 'aj International',, and together 
with Dan edited the Sotsialisticheskii Vestnik. He died of tuberculosis. (Ed.) 


very large Petersburg organization was entirely In the hands of 
the internationalist minority, and was sharply hostile to the 
Central Committee. The defensist minority in the capital,, loyal 
to the Central Committee, was hostile to the Petersburg Com- 
mittee and didn't recognize it. In the Soviet fraction the 
Internationalists were in a minority and formed a completely 
independent group. They always voted with the extreme Left 
against Dan and Tsereteli, who led the majority; they intro- 
duced their own independent resolutions, sometimes In concert 
with the Bolsheviks. And the line of the Soviet struggle the 
struggle of the united big and petty bourgeoisie against the 
proletariat lay at that time just between the Menshevik 
majority and the Menshevik-Internationalists. 

The only thing needed for a definitive formal split was the 
departure of the Internationalists from the Central Committee 
and the formation of an all-Russian Internationalist centre. 
Throughout the whole summer there were endless debates in the 
Petersburg organization about a definitive split, but fear of the 
provinces delayed matters amongst the minority. Aside from 
this the minority was, generally speaking, in quite a 'winning 5 
position: it lost only from polemical reproaches for its formal 
alliance with Tsereteli. But while it retained the possibility of a 
struggle c within the party' it really enjoyed at the same time the 
most complete freedom of action and didn't submit to any 
decision of the majority. The position was, of course, quite false 
and ridiculous, but in point of fact it was the majority who 
found it intolerable. There were standing discussions amongst 
them also, about excluding the Internationalists, but all the 
same they weren't excluded. 

All this shilly-shallying was unendurably tedious for both 
Left and Right. The more resolute Internationalists carried on 
an energetic agitation for a split. With Martov's arrival after the 
Conference, I was personally convinced that a definitive split 
was a question of the immediate future. Martov, however, who 
was living with his sister, Dan's wife, although not yielding an 
iota of the essence of his internationalist principles, was against 
a split. In mild and cautious form, with constant references to 
prematurity, he upheld the existing unnatural status. In those 
days Dan would say: 'I'm working on defence night and day. 
Every night I talk to Martov until four in the morning.' 


A few days after the Conference, foreseeing a definitive split 
of the Mensheviks, I finished at last with my 'wild' situation, 
that had already dragged on so long, and registered in the 
Petersburg organization of the Menshevik-Internationalists. 
My party sponsor, who introduced me, was of course Martov. 

Thus the Cadets, the SRs, and the official Mensheviks some 
from fear, others from conscience, some with sincere feeling, 
others with a sourly scornful smile brought their 'confidence 
and support 5 to the cradle of the Coalition. 

The Menshevik-Internationalists, in view of the particularly 
strong desire to emphasize that devotion to the new Govern- 
ment was nation-wide, would be disregarded as simply a party 
minority. Every family, after all, has its black sheep. . . 

Unfortunately, though, there still remained the Bolsheviks. 
But these were in the first place also notoriously black sheep, and 
secondly, black sheep outside the family, who were not worth 
talking about. This was how the faithful Coalition press re- 
assured itself in those days, thinking it was brushing aside a 
gang of malefactors, and not the immutable course of history. . . 

In the Soviet itself and the Ex. Com. things were completely 
satisfactory. But beyond their walls the efforts of the Com- 
promisers collided with an indifference of the masses that was no 
better than downright hostility. Of course, resolutions of con- 
fidence were successfully carried even in working-class districts, 
but they fairly regularly alternated with enactments of this 
kind : c We, tne workers of the Nevka factory, having debated in 
general assembly the question of the entry of the Mensheviks and 
Populists into the Coalition Cabinet, consider such entry 
directly inimical to the international proletarian movement. 
We consider that the right method of combating the supply crisis 
and of ending the fratricidal war most rapidly is not entry into a 
bourgeois imperialist Government, but the transfer of all power 
to the Soviet. We demand that the representatives of the demo- 
cracy leave the bourgeois Government at once.' 


Relations within the Soviet and the Ex. Com. were now con- 
clusively defined. The Ex. Com. had fallen into sharply hostile 
camps which never agreed on anything and one of which dic- 
tatorially and mercilessly oppressed the other with all its weight. 
And generally speaking in the Soviet at this time all-the Ts had 
been dotted in the dictatorship of the conciliationist Menshevik- 
SR Praesidium. This merely consummated a process long since 
begun. But now, after the Coalition, this process was completed 
by a certain formal crystallization of the dictatorship of a 
narrow little circle of opportunists. 

First of all, the Praesidium of the Soviet, from being an organ 
of internal order, as it should have been, was definitely con- 
verted into a substitute for the Ex. Com., and began to replace 
it in its executive and legislative functions. Proposals to refer to 
the Praesidium were very often heard both in trivial and im- 
portant matters most of these proposals emanating from the 
Praesidium Group itself. 

Secondly, the Praesidium Group from now on was concen- 
trated into a continuously operative, quasi-official though still 
backstage institution, that had been given the name of Star 
Chamber. It consisted not only of the members of the Prae- 
sidium but also of a kind of camarilla, loyal intimates of 
Chkheidze and Tsereteli. At that time I was so far from these 
ruling spheres that I never knew exactly, and still don't know 
just who was in this Star Chamber. The official members of the 
Praesidium themselves, Chkheidze and Skobelev, were of 
course in it but more ex qfficio, and they were, of course, not its 
controlling personages. Its leading spirit was, of course, Tsere- 
teli. Consequently half of the Soviet dictatorship and all the 
corresponding honour, and all the odium must be laid to his 

But life in the Ex. Com. had not changed. In particular its 
whole pre-Coalition organization survived. To be sure, the 
Liaison Commission, now permanently transferred to the 
Marian Palace, was abolished that is, as far as I recall, it died a 
natural death without any special decision. 

Of the new members Trotsky used to attend, though not 
often. He had joined the Interdistrictites, the autonomous 
Bolsheviks; together with Lunacharsky, who had not yet 
appeared in the Ex. Com. at all, Trotsky had already begun 


holding numerous meetings and was looking for a literary 
organ. In the Ex. Com., against the grey, tedious background, 
he did not attract much interest, and he himself showed even 
less interest in the central Soviet institution. 

At that time I personally avoided making the acquaintance of 
Trotsky, for quite specific reasons : Trotsky had many grounds 
for entering into more or less close relationship with the Novaya 
%hitn> and he himself was counting on this. My getting ac- 
quainted with him would indicate an immediate discussion of 
this subject. But his contributions might prove quite unsuitable. 
Indefinite rumours were circulating about him, while he was 
still outside the Bolshevik Party, to the effect that he was "worse 
than Lenin'. Before we could discuss the Novaya %hizn this new 
star had to be inspected. 

This is what the new Government said in its official statement 
of May 6th: 'In foreign policy, while rejecting, in accord with 
the entire nation, any thought of a separate peace, the Pro- 
visional Government openly sets as its goal the attainment of a 
general peace, without annexations or indemnities, on the basis 
of the self-determination of nations.' 

But concretely? Methods? Guarantees? 

'The Provisional Government will undertake preparatory 
steps towards an agreement with the Allies on the basis of the 
statement of March ayth.' 

That was all. Even in words, even in naked promises, the 
Coalition went no further. Let anyone who can be satisfied by 

On the other hand, 'persuaded that a defeat of Russia and her 
Allies could not only be a source of the greatest disasters, but 
would also make impossible the conclusion of a general peace 
on the basis indicated, the Provisional Government firmly 
believes that the revolutionary army of Russia will not allow 
German troops to destroy our Allies in the west and attack us 
with the full force of their arms. The strengthening of the 
foundations of the democratic army, and the organization and 
strengthening of its fighting force for offensive as well as 
defensive operations, will be the chief task of the Provisional 


This was what the new Cabinet said about the first and basic 
point of the immutable, indispensable, and inevitable pro- 
gramme of the revolution the question of peace. 

Now, in the two capitals and in the provinces, as though at a 
signal, there began an orgy of chauvinism and a frenzied war- 
dance of journalists and mass-meeting orators demanding an 
immediate renewal of the slaughter. The whole of the big press 
set up a fiendish howl, playing variations on the patriotic slogan 
'Take the offensive! 5 The gallant Allies who had inspired the 
campaign helped it not only with gold but with their personal 
participation. In huge, specially organized meetings advertised 
in the bourgeois yellow press there appeared, together with 
Kerensky and various counterfeit 'sailor' adventurers, the 
representatives and even ambassadors of the Allies. The agents 
of Anglo-French financial interests, Thomas and the newly- 
arrived Vandervelde, 1 again began turning up in the Ex. Com., 
demanding blood, and they now entered into more and more 
intimate contact with the top leaders of the Soviet majority. 

At army Headquarters, at an officers' meeting, Alexeyev, the 
Commander-in-Chief, declared the 'Government' formula 
'without annexations or indemnities' to be a Utopian phrase 
and demanded an offensive for the sake of total victory- 
All this began at one stroke on ihe very day the new Cabinet 
was formed. And it was all directly connected with this. The 
atmosphere had suddenly become imbued with a chauvinism 
not hitherto seen in the revolution. Militaristic attacks rained 
down from all sides with a long-forgotten effrontery. 

On May i4th Kerensky published an Order to the army 
concerning an offensive. Properly speaking, it was not quite an 
order to attack but only a preliminary official proclamation. . . 
'In the name of the salvation of free Russia,' Kerensky said, 
'you will go where your commanders and your Government 
send you. On your bayonet-points you will be bearing peace, 
truth, and justice. You will go forward in serried ranks, kept 
firm by the discipline of your duty and your supreme love for 
the revolution and your country. . .' The proclamation was 
written with verve and breathed sincere 'heroic' emotion. 

1 Vandervelde, Emile (1866-1938) : Belgian Socialist leader. (Ed.) 


Kerensky undoubtedly felt himself to be a hero of 1793. And he 
was of course equal to the heroes of the great French Revolu- 
tion, but not of the Russian. 

At this time Kerensky displayed astonishing activity, super- 
natural energy, and the greatest enthusiasm. Of course he did 
everything within human power. And not for nothing does the 
chilly and malevolent historian Miliukov, in whose interests 
Kerensky was working at this time, recall, with a shade of 
tenderness and gratitude, the 'comely figure of the young man 
with a bandaged arm' appearing first at one point then at 
another of our limitless front (apparently everywhere at once) 
and calling for great sacrifices, demanding that the wayward and 
indifferent rabble should pay tribute to the impulses of idealism. 

Kerensky, who as Minister of Justice had put on a dark-brown 
jacket in place of his sports coat, now changed it for a light- 
coloured, elegant, officer's tunic. His hand had been bothering 
him nearly all that summer, and in a black sling gave him the 
appearance of a wounded hero. I have no idea what was wrong 
with Kerensky's hand it was a long time since I had talked 
to him. But it is just like this that he is remembered by tens and 
hundreds of thousands of soldiers and officers from Finland to 
the Black Sea, to whom he addressed his fiery speeches. 

Everywhere, in the trenches, on ships, at parades, at meetings 
at the front, at social gatherings, in theatres, town-halls, Soviets 
in Helsingfors, Riga, Dvinsk, Kamenets-Podolsk, Kiev, 
Odessa, Sebastopol he kept speaking about the same thing and 
with the same enthusiasm, with sincere and unfeigned emotion. 
He spoke of freedom, of the land, of the brotherhood of nations, 
and of the imminent glowing future of the country. He called 
upon the soldiers and citizens to defend and conquer all this by 
force of arms, and show themselves worthy of the great revolu- 
tion. And he pointed to himself as a guarantee that the sacrifices 
demanded would not be in vain, and that not one drop of free 
Russian blood would be shed for other, secondary goals. 

Kerensky's agitation was (almost) a complete triumph for 
himself. Everywhere he was carried shoulder-high and pelted 
with flowers. Everywhere scenes of unprecedented enthusiasm 
took place, from the descriptions of which breathed the legen- 
dary air of heroic ages. Men flung their Grosses of St. George at 
the feet of Kerensky, who was calling on them to die; women 


in the October Revolution 


stripped off their valuables and in Kerensky's name laid them 
on the altar of the (for some unknown reason) longed-for 
victory. . . 

Of course a sizeable portion of all this enthusiasm was 
generated by the middle classes, the officers and the philistines. 
But even amongst the front-line soldiers, in the very trenches, 
Kerensky had an enormous success. Tens and hundreds of 
thousands of fighting soldiers, at tremendous meetings, vowed 
to go into battle on the word of command and die for 'Land and 

There is no doubt that the army had been roused by the 
agitation of this Minister, the 'symbol of the revolution'. The 
commanding officers cheered up and said good-bye to Kerensky 
with assurances that now the army would justify the hopes of the 
country. . , 

By May igth Kerensky had already telegraphed the Premier: 
'Report : I have seen situation on south-eastern front and come to 
positive conclusions I shall communicate upon arrival. Position 
in Sebastopol highly favourable. . .' 

There was some 'roughness' too, some of it substantial and 
important: we shall speak of it later. But there were also 
grounds for Kerensky's positive conclusions. The whole bour- 
geoisie had leapt to its feet: the agreeable smell of blood was in 
its nostrils again, and once again almost abandoned imperialist 
illusions had revived. 

The Coalition had grouped itself around the offensive; it re- 
garded the offensive as its central task, and it was only in the 
organization of the offensive that the new Government mani- 
fested itself. What with Kerensky's agitation the situation was 
becoming unendurable. 

As soon as the new Cabinet's statement was wired to Europe, 
a question was asked in the British Parliament on the 'Russian 
formula' for peace. Philip Snowden proposed that Russia's 
renunciation of annexations and indemnities be welcomed. 
Robert Cecil, the Foreign Secretary, replied to this with extreme 
disapproval. He called it senseless and misplaced. But he added: 
if there were any question of Russia's renouncing its obligations 
to the Allies, Great Britain would know what to do. 


The Cadet Rech was, of course, delighted. It had already 
drawn the conclusion that the Coalition would never think up 
anything beyond the continuation of the policy of Miliukov. 

Nor did either Lvov, or Tereshchenko, or Tsereteli, or even 
Skobelev, really think up anything more. And every now 
and then Tereshchenko gave renewed proof of his fidelity to 
Miliukov' s policy. It goes without saying that our whole Diplo- 
matic Corps stayed on at their posts, as they had under the Tsar 
and Miliukov. Tereshchenko's closest collaborators and advisers 
were on the one hand the Star Chamber of the Soviet, and on 
the other Rasputin's proteges (almost). And now, against the 
background of Kerensky's agitation in the army, Tereshchenko 
started direct relations with the Allied Governments. He sent a 
wire to Ribot, the French Premier, in which there was not a 
word about any peace, or about any requests on the part of the 
new Russian Government: nothing but compliments, raptures, 
and assurances of unshakeable fidelity to everything as it had 
been before. 

When Ribot read aloud this wire in the Chambre des Deputes 
he aroused the liveliest sensation. He couldn't find appropriate 
words to congratulate the Russian Government, 'made up of 
prominent, bold and energetic statesmen, but subject to outside 
influences'. And Ribot concluded correctly that nothing had 
changed for the worse 'Coalitionary' Russia was true to the 
Russia of the Tsar and of Miliukov. 

The next day a similar scene took place in the British House 
of Commons. Questions were put from the Left about the un- 
favourable impression made in Russia by Robert Cecil's reaction 
to the 'Russian formula' for peace. But this worthy gentleman 
explained that (apart from intriguers and anarchists) there had 
been no unfavourable impression. Quite the contrary all was 
well. . . 

All these facts, that deeply discredited the Russian Revolu- 
tion, practically liquidated the question it had raised about 
peace. They strengthened, of course, not only Allied imperial- 
ism, but also that of Austria and Germany, and on the other 
hand generated the deepest depression in the advanced pro- 
letariat of all countries. 

The overt formulation of the old rapacious war programme 
of the Entente automatically placed the German command on 


its own kind of 'defensive* positions, reinforced the idea of 
'national self-defence' and once again rallied the masses, longing 
for peace, around the Kaiser, Ktihlmann, and Hindenburg. 
The aggressiveness and chauvinism of the 'great democracies 5 
were extremely favourable to the German imperialists, who set 
all their hopes on the naked power of arms. 

The Austro-German diplomats and military chiefs did not of 
course cease to be interested in an 'honourable 5 separate peace 
with Russia, nor did they cease to take steps to achieve it steps 
that were sometimes quite risky. A German agent, a certain 
D. Rizov, Bulgarian Ambassador to Berlin, had the nerve to 
write a letter to Gorky proposing that he should become 
mediator for a separate peace; he gave humanitarian con- 
siderations as his motive. Rizov's letter, with a postscript by 
Gorky, was printed in the Novaya %hizn and caused a stupendous 
sensation, which fed the whole gutter-press for several days. 

A bitter struggle developed in the press. The bourgeois press 
examined all the Bolshevik leaders in turn, accusing them of 
every possible crime. Every day whole tubs of filth were poured 
over Gorky because of Rizov's letter and for other reasons, some 
connected with the Novaya %hizn and some not. I personally 
became the favourite target of the Reck and was never called 
anything but 'dear to the German heart', or 'so highly appre- 
ciated by the Germans', I began getting letters almost every 
day from the capital, the provinces or the army: some contained 
admonitions and jeers, others questions: 'How much did you 

An extraordinary amount was done to inflame the chau- 
vinistic atmosphere by the Entente agents who had arrived in 
Russia, Thomas, Vandervelde, and Henderson. 1 The first two 
were quite familiar to us. We could not say that about Hender- 
son at this time, since his policy speech in the Ex. Com. shed 
an unexpected light on his one can't say impudence so much 
as a unique kind of ndivetL Henderson, calling a spade a spade, 
expounded the war programme of British finance including 
the liberation of Mesopotamia, Africa, Constantinople, and 

1 Socialists who supported the First World War, either participating in their 
respective governments or backing them. (Ed.) 


Armenia from the German or Turkish yoke. For all these ideal- 
istic goals he demanded from the Russian Revolution cannon- 
fodder and practical self-immolation. Henderson talked for two 
hours, but alas ! he merely confused even the Mamelukes. 

At this same time the representatives of still another gallant 
Ally, Italy, had appeared in Petersburg. I don't think there 
were any Ministers in the delegation, but as Socialists' the 
Italian 'patriots' who came, Arturo Labriola, Giovanni Lerda, 
Orazio Raimondo, and Innocenzo Cappa, were perhaps even 
more dubious than the above-mentioned trio. At the same time 
the position of Italy in the World War was the most nakedly 
piratical. These gentry, with nothing in their minds but the 
badgering of neutral Italy into the war and the struggle against 
the honest Italian Socialists, presented themselves to the Ex. 
Com. only once and 'hailed' the revolution more in Ministerial 
circles, but they did their bit to intensify the chauvinist atmo- 
sphere by their interviews and public speeches. 

The French Social-patriotic delegates, Cachin, Moutet, and 
Lafont, kept the promise they had given the Ex. Com., and 
after they got home insisted on the French Social-chauvinist 
majority's taking part in the Stockholm Conference. 1 This 
resolution was passed by the National Council of the French 
Socialist Party. It was based on an effort to confine the mighty 
Russian Revolution within definite limits and keep it from any 
radical measures and within the sphere of Entente influence. 
For this it was essential to meet the Soviet, which controlled the 
army, half-way. The honourable Citizen Cachin, agitating 
amongst the Socialists, tried to persuade his own ruling bour- 
geoisie to get along with the Soviet and refer to it as little as 
possible in public as a gang of vagabonds and German agents 
which for that matter was quite untrue, since the Soviet was 
now headed by quite statesmanlike patriots. 

It was the same thing in England. The radical press main- 
tained that it would be dangerous for the Allies to forbid the 
Stockholm Conference, but the Government decided that it 
would nevertheless be better not to let the British Socialists go 
to the Conference. There was a united conference of the Inde- 
pendent Labour Party and the British Labour Party in Leeds 

1 An international conference of Zimmerwaldites scheduled for June 25th, but 
never held. (Ed.) 


during the last third of May. More than a thousand delegates 
backed the 'Russian formula' and decided to take part in the 
Conference. This was an impressive force, and it was awkward 
for the Government of the 'Great Democracy 5 simply not to 
'allow' it, In the face of the aroused proletariat. A slippery path 
was chosen. They staged 'workers' demonstrations of protest' 
against the trip of MacDonald and other delegates to Petersburg 
via Stockholm. The Seamen's Union was induced to refuse to 
service the ship In which MacDonald was to travel to Russia. 
The trip of the British workers 3 minority was prevented, while 
the majority refused of its own accord to take part in an 
'International with the Germans'. 

It was the same everywhere in Europe. Some parties the 
British and French minorities, the German independents, the 
Czech, Hungarian, Austrian, and Italian backed the Russian 
formula and were ready to go to the Conference, but they were 
not allowed to and were attacked in their own countries for their 



*OuR country is definitely turning into some sort of madhouse 
with lunatics in command, while people who have not yet lost 
their reason huddle fearfully against the walls. 5 (Rech,M.ay i yth.) 
*Russia is turning into a Texas, into a country of the Far West.' 
(Reck, May soth.) 

The bourgeois gutter-press, without respite or repose, in 
creative self-forgetfulness and patriotic rapture, played varia- 
tions on this theme in all conceivable styles sorrowful, 
menacing, and playful. 'Anarchy' in large letters made its 
appearance as a standing headline. This press was now filled 
with descriptions of every possible excess and disorder. "Arbi- 
trary arrests', *lynch-law', 'collapse', 'riots'. The struggle of the 
bourgeoisie against the revolution had expanded to its full scope. 

There were indeed many excesses, perhaps more than before. 
Lynch-law, the destruction of houses and shops, jeering at and 
attacks on officers, provincial authorities, or private persons, un- 
authorized arrests, seizures, and beatings-up were recorded 
every day by tens and hundreds. In the country burnings and 
destruction of country-houses became more frequent. The 
peasants were beginning to 'regulate' land-tenure according to 
their own ideas, forbidding the illegal felling of trees, driving off 
the landlords' stock, taking the stocks of grain under their own 
control, and refusing to permit them to be taken to stations and 
wharves. The terrific destruction of a great lord's estate in the 
Mtsensk district caused a special uproar in the first half of May. 
Quite a few excesses were also observed amongst the workers 
against factory administration, owners, and foremen. But more 
than anything else of course it was the unbridled rioting soldiers 
who were 'destroying law and order'. 

In the idle garrisons of the capital and the provinces, in an 
atmosphere of unprecedented freedom, military discipline 
naturally collapsed. The iron shackles had weakened. The 
ignorant wantonness of the grey mass made itself felt. All 
garrison service in the rear became more or less disrupted; there 
was almost no training; orders were frequently ignored, sentries 


not stationed. There were masses of deserters both in the rear 
and at the front. 

The soldiers, without leave, went off home in great floods. 
They filled all the trains, hectored the administration, kicked 
out the passengers, and threatened the entire transport system 
with catastrophe. The deserters were given a period of time to 
report back, then this time was extended and reinforced by 
threats. The soldiers flowed through the countryside from the 
rear and the front, recalling a great migration of peoples. In the 
cities they blighted the trams and boulevards, and filled all the 
public places. There were reports here and there of drunken- 
ness, rowdiness, and disorder. 

In Russia generally, under the Coalition, in the summer of 
1917, there was very little order. The man in the street, follow- 
ing bourgeois initiative, began complaining about it menacingly 
and grumbling ill-naturedly about the revolution as such. It was 
precisely the fact of the revolution that he held responsible for 
our not having any law or stable authority. Once again Miliu- 
kov's catchword came to mind : the man in the street is stupid. 

The same thing took place amongst the soldiers. There were 
not only excesses here, but also a profound process, a shift in 
mood, a movement only the blind could fail to notice. . . We 
have seen how the minds of the soldiers reflected the problem of 
war and peace two months before. The mere notion of peace 
would have made them impale 'traitors and openers up of the 
front' on their bayonets. I have noted an embryonic shift as 
early as a month after the revolution, around the time of Lenin's 
arrival. Now, two months and a bit later, against the back- 
ground of the Coalition, the soldiers 3 temper began turning into 
its opposite. 

This process was obscured in the eyes of the Soviet leaders by 
the fact that the mass of the Petersburg soldiery was in this 
respect far behind the provinces. In the Soviet the soldiers as 
before were in an extremely patriotic mood (they were, by the 
way, better protected than any of the others against despatch to 
the front). But in Moscow and the provinces this upheaval in 
the minds of the soldiers gradually made its presence felt. As 
early as May gth Thomas met with a petty unpleasantness in the 
Moscow Soviet: he was publicly told in the name of the 
soldiers that our army was tired and wanted peace; that there 


was no party in Russia for a separate peace, but if the war was 
going to drag on it was impossible to vouch for the con- 
sequences. Thomas 'experienced an uncomfortable impression 5 . 

But with Kerensky these little unpleasantnesses went still 
further. While agitating at the front he began meeting with 
argumentative resistance from the soldiers. It's true that these 
were isolated cases, and that the impression was smoothed over 
at once by patriotic enthusiasm. But after all the surroundings 
were also exceptionally unfavourable for any argument against 
an offensive. In the last week of May, in the loyal Twelfth Army, 
Kerensky came across a minor scandal. Under the pretext of 
asking a question, a soldier declared the Government ought to 
conclude peace very soon. Kerensky interrupted the soldier 
with a thunderous exclamation of 'Coward !' and ordered him to 
be dismissed from the army. The regimental commander, how- 
ever, asked permission to dismiss, together with the unsuccessful 
debater, several others who 'dishonoured the whole regiment' 
with these same thoughts on war and peace. 

Once at the end of May, from the balcony of the Novaya hizn, 
looking out on the Nevsky, we watched a strange demonstra- 
tion. Its beginning and end were lost in the distance; the demon- 
stration stretched for practically two-thirds of a mile. Rows of 
elderly men were moving along in vaguely military uniforms. 
They were walking slackly with their heads bowed, in an un- 
usually deep, glum silence. They had no banners, but wretched 
little signs with inscriptions: 'The land has no one to work it!' 
'Our land isn't sown!' 'We can't get bread for the workers!' 
'Our families are starving on the land!' 'Let the young men 
fight!'. . . 

These were soldiers over forty years old. For a long time they 
had been demanding to be demobilized, with no success. And 
now this morose demonstration, organized by no one knew 
whom, showed they were beginning to lose patience. . . The 
'over-forties' were on their way to the Marian Palace. There 
Minister of Agriculture Chernov, closest to their hearts, was 
ordered out to them. He made them a long, flowery speech 
promising something and nothing at the same time. The over- 
forties dispersed unsatisfied and definitely resentful. 

The war was becoming more and more intolerable. The 
elemental forces against war, against support of it and against 


Its entire organization, were accumulating drop by drop and day 
by day. 

* * * 

The names of Lenin and his companions-in-arms, daily 
spattered with filth, were still heard with hatred and suspicion 
by the ignorant masses. At an Officers' Congress on May 20th 
his arrest was demanded; it was said that otherwise the people 
would kill him. But that same day Lenin appeared at the 
Peasant Congress. Generally speaking Lenin held himself aloof 
in those days, like some great noble. He was never seen either 
at Soviet sessions or in the lobbies ; as before he was staying 
somewhere Underground 5 , in intimate party circles. Whenever 
he appeared at a meeting he would ask for the floor out of turn, 
upsetting the agenda. An attempt of this kind a few days before 
at the Peasant Congress, as though he were a Minister, had failed, 
and he had to leave : it was against his principles to wait for the 
floor. But now, on the soth, with the absorbed interest of the 
Peasant Congress, Lenin developed his programme of 'direct 
action 5 , his tactics of land seizure regardless of the legally- 
appointed limits. It would seem that Lenin had landed not 
merely in a camp of bitter enemies, but you might say in the 
very jaws of the crocodile. The little muzhiks listened attentively 
and probably not without sympathy. But they dared not show 
it. . . 

Around this time we in the Ex. Com. once heard that Lenin 
was making a speech to the Soldiers 5 Section in the White Hall. 
This was the most faithful support Chaikovsky 1 and Tsereteli 
had the Praetorian Guard of the Coalition. Lenin was not 
likely to get on well. I hurried over. He had already been on the 
platform a long time and was making the same speech as at the 
Peasants' Congress. I sat down in about the seventh row, in the 
heart of the soldier audience. The soldiers were listening with 
the greatest interest as Lenin berated the Coalition's agrarian 
policy and proposed that they should settle the matter on their 
own authority, without any Constituent Assembly. . . But the 
speaker was soon interrupted by the chair: his time was up. 

1 Chaikovsky, Nikolai Vasilyevich (1850-1926): prominent in Go-operative 
movement. After the October Revolution he joined the 'White reaction' against 
Bolshevism. (Ed.) 


Some arguing began about whether to allow Lenin to continue 
his speech. The Praesidium evidently didn't want to, but the 
assembly had nothing against it. Lenin, bored, was standing on 
the platform wiping his bald spot with a handkerchief; recog- 
nising me from a distance he nodded to me gaily. I heard 
comments around me: 'Talks sense, hey? Hey?' one soldier said 
to the other. 

By a majority vote the assembly ordered that Lenin be allowed 
to finish speaking. The ice was broken: Lenin and his principles 
had begun penetrating even the nucleus of the Praetorians. 

Trotsky and Lunacharsky were not of course members of the 
Bolshevik Party at that time, but these first-class orators had 
already succeeded in the course of two or three weeks in 
becoming most popular agitators. Their successes began, per- 
haps, in Kronstadt, where they very often played guest roles. 
By the middle of May, Kerensky, who was preparing the offen- 
sive, already figured in Kronstadt under the epithets : 'Socialist- 
plunderer and blood-drinker*. 

The 'Bolshevik question' was coming to the surface as the 
current problem of state, though the Soviet leaders in the 
Tauride Palace were calmer about it than anyone else. Tsereteli 
himself was blind as an owl in the dazzling light of the revolu- 
tion, and he blinkered his neighbours' eyes too. In the Tauride 
Palace the Soviet leaders, yawning, repeated endless platitudes 
about how they personally were shaping the country's fate and 
saving the revolution in the name of the < whole democracy'. 

Meanwhile the facts spoke more and more eloquently for 
themselves. If in the Soldiers' Section they were still no more 
than listening to Lenin with sympathy, in some regiments of the 
capital, recently loyal to Rodzianko, they were solidly obeying 
the Bolsheviks. In particular, Lenin already had the allegiance 
of the ist Machine-Gun Regiment, where a certain 2nd Lieut. 
Semashko was active. At the end of May, when the latter was 
accidentally arrested, the entire Machine-Gun Regiment turned 
out in full formation, freed Semashko, and carried him shoulder- 
high out of the Commandant's headquarters. Here already was 
military power in the hands of the Bolshevik Central Committee. 

But of course it was first and foremost the Petersburg pro- 
letariat that rallied to the banner of Bolshevism. 


On May 3Oth a conference of the Factory Committees of the 
capital and its suburbs opened in the White Hall. The Con- 
ference grew up from the bottom; it was planned in the factories 
without the participation either of the official organs of labour 
or of the Soviet institutions. It was initiated and organized by 
the Bolshevik Party, which was making an appeal to the masses 
directly, and quasi-directly, obliquely, to the Soviet. It was 
inspired by Lenin, and carried out primarily by Zinoviev. 

Unlike the Workers' Section of the Soviet, whose composition 
was changed, not very quickly, by a series of partial elections, 
the members of the Factory Committee Conference had just 
been elected en bloc and reflected with precision the real physiog- 
nomy of the Petersburg proletariat. The Conference really 
represented it, and workers from the bench in great numbers 
took an active part in its labours. For two days this workers' 
parliament debated the economic crisis and the ruin through- 
out the country. And of course it combined economics with 
politics. The Government Mensheviks, and also a few Inter- 
nationalists, sponsored the organization of economy by the 
State ignoring the question of just which State. But the Bol- 
sheviks, Lenin and Zinoviev, with the support of the worker 
speakers, now for the first time developed their slogan of 
* workers 9 control'. 

When the vote was taken, 335 of the 421 workers voted for the 
Bolsheviks. The victory of Bolshevism was complete. In con- 
clusion the Conference of the Factory Committees resolved to 
'organize in Petersburg an all-city centre of the representatives 
of all factory committees and trade unions; this centre must 
play the leading role in the realization of all measures indicated 
above (control et aL] within Petersburg'. 

This centre, which fell completely into the hands of the 
Bolsheviks, was naturally bound to become from now on alto- 
gether the most authoritative centre for the Petersburg pro- 
letariat. It was bound to supplant the conciliationist Soviet. If 
this didn't happen it was for only one reason: the Soviet 
Workers' Section both in Petersburg and Moscow was day 
by day irresistibly filling up with Bolsheviks. They still had no 
majority, and it was impossible to say when they would have. 
But it would come, and in the not too distant future there 
could be no doubt of that. 


Meanwhile Kerensky was harvesting laurels in Moscow. 
Crowds thronged into the streets he passed through. Flowers 
were showered on his car. Standing up in it Kerensky hailed 'the 
people 3 . He was at the peak of his popularity. He was a hero and 
object of adoration for philistines and nondescripts. Meanwhile 
Lenin with a firm tread was striding on and on, strengthening 
each step with the steel of proletarian ranks and anchoring 
himself in the sole unshakeable basis of the revolution. 

One fine day during the last week of May I heard that three 
generals of the revolution wanted to have a talk with the 
editorial board of the Novqya %hizn about their more intimate 
association with it. These were the three non-party Bolsheviks, 
Trotsky, Lunacharsky, and Ryazanov. Lunacharsky and I had 
had a rather intensive correspondence during the period of the 
Sovremennik) for which he did a good deal of writing. I knew him 
of course as a most talented writer, of great culture and many- 
sided gifts. I naturally not only valued his contributions, but 
actively sought him out, and in spite of the dubiousness of the 
Sovremennik with respect to fees, so necessary to an Emigre, 
Lunacharsky gladly responded to my suggestions. Without 
any prompting from me he often sent me agreeable notes, 
such as an expression of sympathy for my activity in Russia 
during the war years. Accordingly I not only had a high 
regard for him but also felt myself drawn to him before seeing 

After he arrived in Russia on May gth, together with Martov, 
he at once, and quite naturally, came to the Novaya %hizn. There 
we became personally acquainted and quite soon intimate. He 
didn't appear immediately in the Ex. Com. and didn't come 
often: he was not yet in Lenin's party and had a rather c soft' 
disposition; we still felt ourselves to be comrades-in-arms in 
politics as well as literary collaborators. 

But we also became rather close friends on purely personal 
grounds. You might say I spent almost aU my unoccupied time 
with Lunacharsky. He often spent days and nights with us in the 
Letopis, where my wife and I had a pied-a-terre. Sometimes at 
night he would come to see me at the printer's, to have a little 
more talk and look at the next day's edition. And when we were 


detained In the Tauride Palace we used to spend the night at 
Manukhin's and again talk away endlessly. 

We discussed everything: regardless of the theme, Luna- 
charsky's talk, stories, and repartee were interesting, clear and 
picturesque, just as he himself was interesting and brilliant, 
glittering with every hue and attractive through his culture and 
the astonishing inborn talent that permeated him from head to 

I remember hearing a woman I knew, who didn't know 
Lunacharsky, tell of her trip home from some boring meeting. 
Sitting opposite her in the train Lunacharsky, also on his way 
back from the same place, was telling his neighbour about the 
meeting. Though the meeting had bored her to death the entire 
evening, it now, as reported by Lunacharsky, flashed and 
glittered, adorned with colours whose existence had not been 
suspected by the average person there. Lunacharsky's account of 
it was more interesting than the reality itself. Lunacharsky was 
like that always and in everything. 

The great people of the revolution both his comrades and 
his opponents almost always spoke of Lunacharsky with 
sneers, irony, or scorn. Though a most popular personality and 
Minister, he was kept away from high policy: 'I have no 
influence,' he once told me himself. 

In a word suum cuique. Lunacharsky is not one of those who 
can create an era or an epoch. The lot of Lenin and Trotsky is 
not for him. In general his historical role in world events is com- 
paratively small. But it is small only in comparison with these 
cosmic titans. After them, of course, for a long, long, long time 
there is nothing. Then it is no longer individuals that are 
visible, but groups, constellations. Among these Lunacharsky of 
course is one of the first. But that is his historical role; for bril- 
liance of talent, to say nothing of culture, he has no equal in the 
constellation of the Bolshevik leaders. 

It is said that when he became a Minister Lunacharsky more 
quickly and completely than others acquired a ministerial 
manner, with its negative qualities. I don't know. After the 
October Revolution I completely broke with him, unlike what 
happened with many others. For two and a half years, down 
to this very moment, I've only had a few fleeting encounters 
with him, and not very agreeable ones at that. He really took a 


ministerial air with me. But I don't know how much he was to 
blame for all this, and I know very well how much I was, with 
my rather disagreeable character. My continual polemics were 
really bitter and unendurable, when we ceased to be com- 
panions-in-arms and became political enemies. 

We shall have to deal further on with the little human foibles 
of this most important figure of the revolution, and with some of 
his blunders, that everyone, small and great, thought ridiculous. 
But these spots on the sun cannot in any way obscure for me, 
now an alien, indifferent, and polemically disposed man, either 
the brilliance of this remarkable figure or the attractive personal 
qualities of the man with whom I spent the summer of 1917. 

In order that the editorial staff might all be present, the 
conference was arranged for the evening of May 25th in the 
Novaya ^hi^n printing-house. I don't remember that the con- 
versation was particularly interesting. I was silent, busy with an 
article, and the conversation was almost over when I spoke, and 
I daresay definitely turned the tide against any editorial 
alliance. The talk had been chiefly about the most immediate 
political perspectives and the fate of the Coalition. I said that 
however negative my feelings towards it, as shown by daily 
articles, I didn't think it right to hasten its liquidation and the 
transfer of all power to the Socialists : it was obvious that the 
country and the democracy had still not digested the idea of a 
Socialist Government, while the Coalition in any case would 
collapse very shortly without any urging, through the spon- 
taneous course of events. In general, I said, with respect to high 
policy I was closer to Martov than to Trotsky. 

Trotsky spoke last and briefly; everything was clear for him. 
For his part he sharply dissociated himself from Martov, who 
'while in the Opposition was only on the side of the defensists', 
and he considered the position of the Novaya ZJtizfl to be really 
an approach to Martov, but not to 'revolutionary Socialism 5 . 
Trotsky finished with some rather remarkable words, which 
made a strong impression on me, and which I remember more 
or less as follows : 

'Now I see there is nothing left for me to do but found a 
newspaper together with Lenin.' 


Afterwards, almost three years later, just a short while before 
I wrote these lines, Trotsky corrected the wording. 1 

'Not "nothing is left for me to do"/ he answered when I gave 
him my account of this episode, 'but "it remains for me and 
Lenin to make our own newspaper".' 

Trotsky explained that he and Lenin had agreed beforehand 
to make an attempt to 'conquer' the Novqya %hizn, and in case 
of failure to create their own organ jointly. Of course I won't 
dispute this. . . 

But at that time Lenin and Trotsky did not create their joint 
organ. Soon after this, to be sure, Lunacharsky started telling 
me about projects for a big newspaper with Bolshevik editors 
(the trio of Lenin, Zinoviev, and Kamenev) and Interdistrictites 
(Trotsky and Lunacharsky). But no such newspaper saw the 
light. Instead Trotsky and the Interdistrictites founded a little 
magazine Vperyod (Forward), where he worked independently 
of Lenin. This made a very small audience for Trotsky and was 
rather thankless work for him. 

I think we left the Novaya %hizn, conference without any 
special regrets, at least on our side. Only Steklov, on his way to 
the composing-room with me, expressed his chagrin at the 
results of the talk. 'We've lost some useful collaborators/ he said. 

But the question had nothing to do with acquiring new 
collaborators. Lunacharsky went on working on the paper on 
the old arrangement, together with many other Bolsheviks. But 
Trotsky we never saw inside our walls again. 

1 Trotsky corrects it still further in his own version of all this, given in Appendix 
III, Volume I of his History of the Russian Revolution. (Ed.) 



THIS was properly not the first, but the second Soviet Congress. 
The first one assembled, as we know, at the end of March. This 
March Congress, which was very far from dull, had been a 
sufficiently full and authoritative exposition of the contemporary 
moods of the democracy. But at that time these moods had still 
been wavering, whereas now the course was quite definite 
towards an unrestricted capitulation to the bourgeoisie. There 
was absolutely no question but that the Compromisers and the 
Praetorians of the Coalition would have a decided advantage at 
the Congress. If only for this reason it was impossible to expect 
anything decisive from the forthcoming Congress, or any change 
in direction. All its activities would be reduced to 'support' 
of the Government and a struggle against the Left 'irresponsible' 
minority. Nevertheless the Congress was of enormous interest 
as a large-scale review of the forces of the revolution. 

The general physiognomy of the Congress and its results were 
clear in advance, but the review of the revolutionary forces 
might come out in various ways, depending on the specific 
weight of the Opposition. The SRs were assured of a majority, 
but the eyes of all the thinking elements of the Tauride Palace 
were fixed on the Bolshevik and Menshevik-Internationalist 
fractions. It was plainly an absorbing question, what Bolshevism 
had done in the provinces. 

For me, however, another question was just as interesting; 
what would be the situation within the Menshevik Party?; 
how many would be Right and how many Left? ; what section of 
the Menshevik Swamp would join Martov's independent inter- 
nationalist fraction and take the chance of splitting from the 
conciliationist majority? 

Alas! the reality disappointed even the pessimists. Out of 777 
delegates definitely committed to a party, 105 proved to be 
Bolsheviks. But with the Mensheviks the position was quite 
unexpected: the Internationalists among them didn't even 


number thirty-five ; all the rest were the troops of Tsereteli and 
Tereshchenko. It was a stunning and bitter outrage. The whole 
Menshevik-Internationalist fraction, headed by Martov and the 
group that had come with him from abroad, together with those 
present in an advisory capacity, didn't even amount to one-sixth 
of all the Mensheviks. 

Besides this there was at the Congress the fraction of the 
'United Internationalists', which Steklov was trying to turn into 
a party and which the Interdistrictites led by Lunacharsky and 
Trotsky had joined. But this fraction didn't have more than 
from thirty-five to forty people either. 

* * * 

The SRs had just concluded their third All-Russian Party 
Conference, which had produced absolutely nothing new or 
interesting. At the Soviet Congress these same SRs proved a 
decisive force. They did not have an absolute majority, but 
together with the Right Mensheviks they made up five-sixths 
of the Congress. The Opposition fractions, taken together, 
including delegates without votes, did not amount to more than 
150-160; while in the voting not more than 120-125 hands were 
raised against the ruling bloc. They formed a narrow strip ex- 
tending from the left side of the chairman's platform along the 
wall and not going further than the middle of the hall. Looking 
at it from the platform itself, this strip was divided from the re- 
maining mass by its external appearance also : it wore almost 
exclusively civilian clothes, and especially workmeris jackets. 

The remaining mass was almost all military. There were Veal' 
soldiers, peasants; but there were more mobilized intellectuals. 
There were more than a hundred junior officers, who still repre- 
sented a great part of the army in the field. And what figures 
they cut! It goes without saying that they were all 'Socialists'. 
It was absolutely impossible to represent the masses or appeal to 
them without this label. But judging by their sympathies, and by 
quite intangible factors, it was not only the secret Cadets, 
Octobrists, and anti-Semites that had joined the SRs or Men- 
sheviks; there were also people there known to be liberal, and 
even not very liberal lawyers, physicians, teachers, landowners, 
and government officials, in the guise of 'populists' or 'Marxists'. 


The Congress opened on June 3rd at 7 In the evening. On 
the following day the question of the relationship to the Pro- 
visional Government was taken up. The debate went on for 
five whole days. 

With complete naivete Lieber and Tsereteli sang the praises of 
the Coalition Government, the 'all-national' Government of all 
the living forces, all the responsible elements of society, the only 
one possible, which had completely justified itself. This blind 
and vulgar bragging about the Coalition's counter-revolu- 
tionary policy did not, of course, nauseate only the Bolsheviks. 
But there was nothing either novel or interesting here. 

The novelty and interest began when Lenin himself spoke in 
rebuttal, having left his underground cave for the light of day. 
In unaccustomed surroundings, face to face with his ferocious 
enemies, surrounded by a hostile crowd that looked on him as a 
wild beast Lenin clearly felt himself insignificant and had no 
special success. In addition, the cruel fifteen minutes allotted to 
a fraction speaker weighed on him. But Lenin wouldn't have 
been allowed to speak at all except for the enormous curiosity 
every one of the provincial Mamelukes felt for this notorious 
figure. His speech was not very well arranged and had no 
central pivot, but it contained some remarkable passages for 
whose sake it must be recalled. 

In it Lenin gave his own solution of the question of the 
Government, and also a general 'schematic' outline of the pro- 
gramme and tactics of this Government. Hear ye! Hear ye! 

'The citizen Minister of Posts and Telegraphs', said Lenin, 
'has declared that there is no political party in Russia that 
would agree to take the entire power on itself. I answer: There 
is. No party can refuse to do this, all parties are contending and 
must contend for the power, and our party will not refuse it. 
It is ready at any moment to take over the Government* 

This was novel, interesting, and very important. This was 
Lenin's first open statement of what the slogan 'All Power to the 
Soviets* meant in his mouth. Lenin's proletarian party was 
struggling for the entire power. The other aspect of the matter 
was that Lenin was ready to accept all power at any moment, 
that is, when his party was known to be in a minority. This was 
no less interesting and important. 

In general this fragment of Lenin's speech is unusually rich in 


content; it comprises a complete political system that now re- 
placed, developed, and interpreted Lenin's original schema of 
April. At that time the Bolshevik leader had enjoined his party 
to learn how to be in the minority, to have patience, to win 
over the Soviets, to get majorities in them and transfer all power 
to them. Now Lenin, without patience, without having got a 
majority or won over the Soviets, was demanding all power 
against their will, and a dictatorship for his own party alone. 
It's possible that in the recesses of Lenin's mind there had 
never been any other interpretation of the original April slogans, 
and that only now for the first time he thought it appropriate to 
proclaim them. 

And now what would Lenin have done if at any moment he 
had found himself in power? 

'The first step we should take if we had the power would be to 
arrest the biggest capitalists and smash their intrigues. Without 
that all the phrases about peace without annexations and 
indemnities are the emptiest of words. Our second step would 
be to announce to the nations, independently of their Govern- 
ments, that we hold all capitalists to be plunderers, both 
Tereshchenko, who is not one whit better than Miliukov, just 
slightly more stupid, and the French capitalists, and the British, 
and all of them. . .' 

Lenin didn't enumerate any further steps, being distracted by 
random ideas. He simply said further that a Bolshevik Govern- 
ment would come forward with a proposal for a general peace. 
But the first and the second steps in any case were enough to 
make the entire hall gasp at the unexpectedness and absurdity 
of such a programme. Not that the prospect of arresting a 
hundred of the biggest capitalists definitely displeased the 
majority of the respected gathering: let's not forget that very 
many of the then Mensheviks were future 'Communists', nor 
that nearly a majority of the peasant SRs became Left SRs in the 
near future. Arresting capitalists that was very pleasant, and as 
for calling them plunderers quite right. 

Aside from junior officers, liberal lawyers, and similar people, 
the class instinct of the workers* and peasants' section of the 
meeting may even have been on Lenin's side, though prejudice 
prevented their displaying this while their most authoritative 
leaders lingered in the embraces of these same capitalists. But as 


a programme for a future Government, both of Lenin's 'steps' were 
really absurd, and didn't seem the least bit attractive even to the 
tiny Left sector, where both the faces and the talk reflected an 
absolutely unambiguous bafflement at Lenin's speech. 

At the end of this session 1 remember meeting Trotsky on the 
stairs; as usual he had been 'with the masses' and had come after 
the fair. He stopped me with 'Well, what's happening there? 
Debates interesting? Have I missed much?' 

"Nothing/ I said ; 'Lunacharsky was best of all; he was really 

'Yes?' Trotsky's eyes flashed with satisfaction. Lunacharsky, 
after all, was the second biggest star in the tiny Interdistrict 

Peshekhonov, the Minister of Supply, was another of the 
Socialist Ministers who spoke at the Congress; unlike the others, 
however, he didn't touch on high policy in his speech, which was 
entirely devoted to supply. Here is his philosophy of the supply 

'The productivity of the working class understandably fell 
after the revolution; . . . the scope of its demands is far more 
than normal. With the raising of wages the value of money falls, 
the cost of commodities goes up, and the situation must again be 
ameliorated by raising wages. But after all, a time will come 
when that will be impossible. The whole difficulty lies, not in over- 
coming the resistance of the bourgeoisie, which gives way in everything, 
but in winning over the toiling masses, who must be summoned to the 
most exacting labour and the indispensable sacrifices. If we succeed in 
overcoming these psychological difficulties of the masses, and 
drawing them after us, then we shall solve our problems.' 

That's what Peshekhonov said. One scarcely knows what to 
be more amazed at this 'Socialist Minister's* theoretical inno- 
cence or his political cynicism. No one, however, noticed any of 
this in his speech, while Trotsky, who succeeded him, spoke as 

*I have listened to Peshekhonov's speech with enormous 
interest, since it's always possible to learn from one's theoretical 
opponents. What should come next is the collaboration of the 
Ministers of Labour and Industry, but Konovalov has left, after 
sabotaging the organization of industry. For three weeks a re- 
placement has been looked for, but can't be found. Put twelve 


Peshekhonovs in power, and that would already be an enormous 
step forward. Find another Peshekhonov to replace Konovalov. 

'You see that I'm not proceeding from fractional considera- 
tions, but only from the point of view of efficiency. The working 
class must know that its own Government is at the top, and it 
will not try to snatch crumbs for itself but will deal with the 
Government considerately. We are not undermining your 
regime, but are working to prepare tomorrow for you. We say 
that your policies of procrastination may sap the foundations of 
the Constituent Assembly. We criticize you because together 
with you we suffer from the same pains.' 

In this speech Trotsky called the Coalition Government an 
Arbitration Court. But he himself spoke at the Congress as a 
kind of arbitrator. 

I remember very much later, when Trotsky, after reading the 
first part of these Notes of mine, made fun of me : 

'You had conversations with Kerensky!' he exclaimed, sar- 
castically histrionic. 'You tried to "persuade" him, the known 
creature of the bourgeoisie, the representative of an enemy class. 
Well, don't tell me you're not a ^emstvo liberal! Only one path 
is permissible for a revolutionary: to go to his own class and call 
on it to fight!' 

In his speech about the Government at the first Congress 
Trotsky did not, as we see, follow these sage principles. On the 
contrary, he generously lavished the most opportunistic, 
emstvo-liberal 'persuasions' on the servants of the bourgeoisie. 
In the Ex. Com. I too had recommended putting some Peshe- 
khonov or other (or still better a Socialist without quotation 
marks) in place of Konovalov a fortnight before this. But for 
me such a Peshekhonov was only an unavoidable element, the 
extreme Right wing of a democratic Government, and in my 
eyes a dozen Peshekhonovs could never be the workers' 'own' 

From my point of view the Government that succeeded the 
Coalition would be a Government of the worker-peasant bloc, 
where the representatives of the petty bourgeoisie, the Peshe- 
khonovs, Chernovs, and Tseretelis, would be allied with the real 
leaders of the proletariat, with Lenin, Martov, and Trotsky. 
Even though the former would be in a majority, and would 
tend as before to a 'procrastinating' bourgeois policy, still the 


proletariat, to make up for that, would be the master of the 
revolution. The right course of events would be ensured by such 
a regime, and only by such a regime. 

In any case the above-quoted excerpt from Trotsky's speech 
would seem to indicate very clearly that in spite of Lenin 
Trotsky did not put the question of the Bolshevik seizure of 
power on the order of the day. By Tower to the Soviets' he 
would really seem to have meant just that. There are no signs 
here of any seizure of power by the minority of the Petersburg 
proletariat. In what sense are Trotsky's words to the Novaya 
%hizn to be understood, that from then on his path lay solely 
with Lenin? Hadn't I made a thoughtless mistake that time,, 
when the three generals swooped down on our paper, in refusing 
an alliance with Lunacharsky and Trotsky? 1 

The concluding act of the Congress was to create a new pleni- 
potentiary Soviet organ, in place of the former Petersburg 
Ex. Com. The body it set up was called the All-Russian Central 
Executive Committee of the Soviets of Workers' and Soldiers' 
Deputies (the Central Ex. Com.). It was to consist of 300 mem- 
bers, of whom half were to be elected by the Congress from any- 
one it liked of the c most worthy'. One hundred members had 
to be local provincial workers: they were supposed to return 
home or to specially designated points at once to carry on their 
work as plenipotentiaries of the Central Soviet organ. The 
remaining fifty people were to be taken from the Petersburg 
Ex. Com. 

The Central Ex. Corn., minus its 100 provincial members, 
was to be permanently active with 200, while on special 
occasions it was supposed to convoke an emergency plenum. 
This was most convenient for the ruling clique : any decision it 
liked could be declared so important or so controversial that 
it would have to be shelved 'until the plenum of the Central 
Ex. Com.' 

The Central Ex. Com. membership included, of course, both 
Kerensky and Lenin. But they never came once. In general a 
good half was made up of dead souls, who scarcely ever appeared 

1 For Trotsky's comments on this see Appendix III to Volume I of his History 
of the Russian Revolution. (Ed.) 


in the Soviet centre. No importance was ascribed to it, and it 
was not taken seriously; no one felt that this body could have 
any effect on the destinies of the revolution. 

Having left in its place its plenipotentiary organ to guard the 
revolution, the Congress had finished its programme. It quietly 
closed on June 24th, after working for three weeks and a few 



ALL over the country disorders, anarchy, seizures, violence, and 
'republics' still continued; people took the law into their own 
hands, soldiers mutinied, and regiments disbanded. 

In Petersburg, among other things, the anarchists were in- 
tensifying their 'activity 5 . They had a territorial base on the 
Vyborg Side, in the distant and secluded villa of the former 
Tsarist Minister Durnovo. They had seized this villa long before 
and held it firmly. This anarchist nest enjoyed an enviable 
reputation in the capital as a sort of Brocken, where the powers 
of evil assembled, witches' Sabbaths were held, and there were 
orgies, plots, dark and sinister and doubtless bloody doings. Of 
course no one doubted that Durnovo's mysterious villa was 
stocked with bombs and all sorts of weapons. The official and 
Soviet authorities understandably looked askance at this in- 
decent spot in the heart of the very capital, but without 
sufficient courage, they waited for an excuse and meanwhile 
were patient. 

The anarchists had recently begun to find not a few supporters 
amongst the working-class masses densely settled throughout 
the Vyborg Side. At the same time they began to undertake 
offensive operations. Up to then in Petersburg they had tried to 
seize only dwelling-houses, from which they were quickly 
evicted. But on June 5th they decided to make an attempt to set 
up an anarchist regime in some industrial enterprise. For this 
experiment they chose the magnificent printing-plant of the 
muddle-headed yellow paper Russkqya Volya (Russian Freedom) . 

About seventy armed men appeared at the printing-plant, 
occupied all the entrances and exits, and told the local workers 
that from now on the plant was theirs. The workers, however, 
were not sufficiently sympathetic, and the authorities, in the 
person of some Ex. Com. members, turned up at the spot of the 
anarchist revolution. 

The anarchists arrested the management, dismissed the 


workers, and refused to leave the plant. While negotiations were 
going on they printed their own proclamation, in which they 
declared they were killing two birds: liquidating a vulgar news- 
paper and giving its own property back to the people. An 
enormous excited mob collected around the building. Two 
companies of soldiers were sent; they occupied the adjacent 
street and didn't know what else to do. 

Then the matter came, not very appropriately, before the 
Soviet Congress itself. The Congress immediately passed an 
emergency resolution condemning the seizure and suggesting 
the evacuation of the occupied premises. That evening the 
anarchists 'surrendered' under the double pressure of the Con- 
gress and a passive siege. A few dozen men were disarmed, 
arrested, and brought to the Military Academy, where they 
were kept under guard. The next day the Reck flew into a rage : 
why had the prisoners been brought to the Congress? Surely 
there were more suitable premises? Weren't there any lawful 
authorities, a lawful court and justice? But these were all empty 

In any case, after this the legal authorities decided to act. On 
June 7th the Minister of Justice prepared to evict the Anarchist- 
Communists from the Durnovo villa. They were given twenty- 
four hours' notice. 

On the morning of June 8th twenty-eight factories on the 
Vyborg Side came out on strike, and crowds, processions, and 
armed workers' detachments began moving towards the Dur- 
novo villa. An enormous mass-meeting formed, and delegates 
were sent to the Ex. Com. to ask it to take steps against the 
eviction and secure to the 'toiling people' the possession of the 
villa. The Ex. Com. met the delegation quite coldly. Then 
another delegation was sent from the Durnovo villa, this time 
with a declaration that the anarchists would defend the villa 
themselves, if necessary by force of arms. 

This might not have been an empty threat : the Vyborg Side 
was in the right mood and had enough arms. Then the Ex. 
Com. once again referred the question to the Congress. 

Meanwhile the direct executor of the sentence, the Procurator 
Bessarabov, arrived at the Durnovo villa. He got into the 


building without much difficulty and found an unexpected 
sight. He discovered nothing either dreadful or mysterious : the 
rooms were in perfect order; there was nothing dilapidated or 
broken, and the only disorder was that a great number of chairs 
and arm-chairs had been put into the largest room and 
destroyed the harmony of the ministerial background by their 
heterogeneous appearance: the room was meant for lectures and 

The crowd showed no aggressiveness, giving the Procurator 
another surprise. The Durnovo villa, empty and deserted, really 
had been occupied by the Anarchist-Communists; but now 
there were all kinds of organizations there that had nothing to 
do with the anarchists: a bakers 3 trade union, a People's Militia 
organization, etc. They had nowhere else to go. The villa's 
enormous garden, always thronged with children, served as a 
resting-place for the whole workers 3 district nearby. All this 
explained a good deal of the popularity of the Durnovo villa on 
the Vyborg Side. 

So the 'legal authorities' had to go back on their word, ex- 
plaining that the Minister's decision did not concern either the 
garden or any organization except the anarchists, amongst whom 
lurked 'criminal elements'. The authorities also muttered some- 
thing about provocation by irresponsible people, who were 
exciting the workers and attempting to force the authorities to 
shed blood. But for the time being it was best to smooth over the 
affair. These problematic criminal elements were obviously not 
worth a wave of strikes and excitement in the capital. 

But the affair was already being aired in the supreme organ 
of the whole democracy. Through the efforts of the zealous ser- 
vant of 'the legal authorities', the All-Russian Congress again 
interrupted its labours to turn to police functions. 

The hue and cry was raised. As usual it had by no means the 
results counted on by the sage politicians of the petty-bourgeois 
majority. The anarchists did not submit but stayed on at the 
villa; and amongst the Petersburg proletariat the police exploits 
of the 'Congress of the whole democracy' of course had a de- 
pressing effect. In the eyes of the workers the Soviet majority 
and its leaders were changing hourly from a theoretical 
adversary into a class enemy. Lenin was reaping a rich harvest. 


The Bolshevik Central Committee controlled most of the 
Workers' Section in the Soviet, as well as the majority of the 
Petersburg proletariat. In addition, the organizations closest to 
the workers the Factory Committees were now united in a 
single centre, completely forgotten by the official Soviet and 
fully in the power of the Bolsheviks. They acted as feelers among 
all the working class of the capital. 

But from one hour to the next a similar situation was being 
produced amongst the troops of the Petersburg garrison. For 
some time now the Bolshevik Military Organization had been 
successfully operating under the careful supervision of Lenin 
himself. This organ did not restrict itself to propaganda and 
agitation: it had managed to spread a fairly good organiza- 
tional network over both capital and provinces, as well as at the 
front. It had also made a good many converts amongst junior 
officers. And in Petersburg, in addition to the ist Machine- 
Gun Regiment, the Bolsheviks now had others too : the Moscow, 
the Grenadiers, the ist Reserve, the Pavlovsky, the Michael 
Artillery School with its big guns, and others. There were also 
Bolshevik organizations in the other regiments. If these were as a 
whole against Lenin, they were not for Chernov-Tsereteli, and 
even less for the Provisional Government. They were 'for the 
Soviet' in general. There's no doubt of this. 

In any case the Petersburg garrison was no longer fighting 
material. It was not a garrison but half-disintegrated military 
cadres. And in so far as they were not actively for the Bol- 
sheviks, they were with the exception of two or three regi- 
ments indifferent, neutral, and useless for active operations 
either on the foreign or on the domestic front. 

The ruling Soviet bloc had already let the masses of the soldiers 
slip through its fingers : the Bolsheviks had taken a strong hold on 
some sections and were hourly penetrating deeper into the others. 

And now things began to happen. . . At the evening session 
of the Congress on the gth Chkheidze took the floor for an 
emergency statement. He said big demonstrations were 
scheduled in Petersburg for the next day, Saturday June loth; 
the Congress might have to sit all night; if it didn't take the 
right steps the next day would be fatal. 


Chkheidze's statement, though not quite clear, was extremely 
impressive, and aroused the greatest excitement amongst the 
delegates. There was a great hubbub, exclamations, questions 
from the floor. Everyone demanded information about exactly 
what had happened. To calm the delegates and give them 
information privately an adjournment had to be announced. 
The delegates separated into fractions and groups, and this is 
what they found out about the situation in the capital. 

The disturbances on the Vyborg Side had not subsided since 
the day before. And indeed these disturbances had not begun 
the day before, with the eviction of the anarchists: they were 
tied up with the general dissatisfaction of the workers and their 
distressing condition. For some days now obscure rumours had 
been going around the city about some sort of 'demonstrations' 
by the Petersburg workers against the Government and its 
supporters. Now the unrest had seized all the working-class 
parts of the capital, and especially Basil Island, where the 
Congress was in session. And in the Durnovo villa there sat a 
special assembly of workers' delegates, which had announced an 
armed demonstration against the Provisional Government for 
the next day. Kronstadt had also sent representatives to this 

But it goes without saying that matters were not restricted to 
the kindling of the workers' elemental instincts. Without the 
interference of solid workers' centres the situation could not 
have become so acute at this moment. 

And the Bolsheviks, of course, were such a centre. On June gth 
proclamations signed by the Bolshevik Central Committee and 
the Central Bureau of the Factory Committees were pasted up 
in the working-class districts. These proclamations summoned 
the Petersburg proletariat to a peaceful demonstration against 
the counter-revolution at 2 o'clock on June loth. 

This proclamation was very important. It won't hurt to 
become familiar with it. First, in powerful fighting language it 
gave an acute and accurate description of the general state of 
affairs and of the Coalition Government. Then, referring to the 
rights of free citizens, it called for a protest against the policy of 
the Coalition. The slogans of the demonstrations were these: 
'Down with the Tsarist Duma !' 'Down with the Ten Minister- 
Capitalists!' 'All Power to the All-Russian Soviet of Workers', 


Soldiers' and Peasants' Deputies! 5 'Long Live the Control and 
Organization of Industry P 'End the War ! 5 'Neither a Separate 
Peace with Wilhelm nor Secret Treaties with the French and 
British Capitalists! 5 'Bread, Peace, Freedom! 5 

I don't know whether the proclamation was in the hands of 
the Congress delegates on the gth. But in any case, it was known 
to them that the ist Machine-Gun Regiment, the Izmailovsky, 
and some others had decided to take part in the demonstration. 
Consequently, the demonstration proved in fact to be armed. 
This naturally heightened the excitement. 

It must be said, however, that the bulk of the delegates were 
wrought up largely through the efforts of the Praesidium, the 
ruling circles, and their hangers-on in the capital. These circles 
had really fallen into a panic and tried to infect the Congress 
with it, but they lacked enough facts. News came to the Star 
Chamber that the demonstration was supposedly known to be 
armed. Then there were obscure rumours about some special 
plans of the Bolsheviks. The main source of this information was 
said to be Lieber. But nothing at all definite was known. Mean- 
while a pacific demonstration by no means seemed such a dread- 
ful thing to the mass of delegates. All Russia, after all, was con- 
stantly demonstrating in those days. The provinces had all 
become accustomed to street demonstrations. And in Peters- 
burg too, in those same days, the c over-forties' and the women 
were demonstrating in general everyone was demonstrating 
who wasn't too lazy! No permission was required. Up to then 
the Soviet hadn't stopped anyone (aside from some special 
cases in April) and any group could come out into the street and 
'enjoy the rights of free citizens'. 

The cause of the alarm amongst the leaders was not entirely 
clear to the mass of delegates. Those who were not particularly 
timid soon expressed their dissatisfaction: the All-Russian 
Congress had not met to deal with one local affair after 
another; if any disorders were being prepared it was up to 
the local Petersburg Soviet, not to the Congress, to prevent 

And, of course, this was an elementary truth. Between the 
masses in the capital and Soviet circles there was not only no 
ideological contact or organic ties, there were no relations at all. 
The Ex. Com., quietly expiring in the Tauride Palace, was 


absolutely impotent. And it was appealing to the Congress as 
the last resort. 

For its part the 'legal Government' , on the evening of the gth, 
was taking steps. It 'enjoined calm on the populace', and pro- 
mised to 'suppress 5 any attempts at violence with all the strength 
of the State. 

This, of course, was all nonsense. They had no strength. But 
patrols were driving about the city, showing the state of alarm 
in the capital. 

At the same time it was asserted that it was not only a question 
of the Bolsheviks, but that monarchist elements were also pre- 
paring to 'come out' simultaneously. 'Rumours' kept coming 
from all sides. The delegates, wandering about the rooms and 
corridors, were excited and worn out in the heated atmosphere. 

The Congress met again in the Military Academy at 12.30 
a.m. The Bolshevik fraction showed some confusion. It was 
evidently rather at sea about the affairs of the capital and of its 
own leaders. And the leaders were absent. Lenin, Zinoviev and 
Kamenev were busy with important matters elsewhere. Trotsky 
was also absent. Krylenko 1 was on the platform of the Praesi- 
dium for the Bolshevik fraction, and the Interdistrictite Luna- 
charsky was acting on its behalf. 

The Chairman proposed to create a bureau for resolute action 
against any who declared war on the Congress. Lunacharsky 
entered it, but he said he would leave if it started a direct 
struggle. He added that the Bolsheviks had empowered him to 
emphasize the pacific character of the proposed demonstration. 
Krylenko for his part protested against the actions of the 
Congress : why was it carrying out its decisions without entering 
into negotiations with the Bolsheviks, who would gladly meet it 

Kerensky said unequivocally: 'The rumours about troops 
drawn into Petersburg from the front, to fight against the 
workers, are completely false. There is not a single soldier in 
Petersburg who does not belong to the garrison of the capital. 

1 Krylenko, Nikolai Vasilyevich (1885-1937); leader in the student movement 
(1905-08). Repeatedly arrested; after the October Revolution, in which he played 
an active part, became People's Minister of Justice, and then State's Attorney. 
Was Prosecutor at many state trials, including the 1931 Trial of the Mensheviks. 
Vanished in 1937. (Ed.) 


The troops, on my orders, are moving and will move only from 
the rear to the front, to fight against the foreign enemies of the 
revolution. But the other way round, from the front to the 
rear, to fight against the workers never!' 

Splendid. We'll keep that in mind. . . Martov also spoke, 
against the disorganizing activities of the Bolsheviks, but ex- 
horting the Congress to calm and sang-froid. 

Then, of course, a new proclamation to the soldiers and 
workers was passed, followed by an appeal that no one should 
go to the demonstration the next day and by a ban on street 
meetings and processions for the next three days. 

This did not finish the work of the Congress on the eve of 
June loth. The delegates were divided up among the Peters- 
burg districts and sent out to the factories, regiments, and com- 
panies to prevent the demonstration. The delegates worked all 
night. It was agreed to meet at the Tauride Palace at 8 o'clock 
that morning for an accounting. At 2 o'clock in the afternoon a 
meeting was also scheduled there for all battalion committees 
of the capital garrison on the question of armed troop 

But it will be asked what the chief heroes of the day and the 
authors of the turmoil were doing at this time. To summon a 
pacific demonstration with any slogans they liked was their 
inalienable right. But for some hours now the sharply negative 
will of the Congress and of the Soviet majority concerning their 
enterprise had been absolutely clear. 

Now, how were the Bolsheviks reacting to this? The activity 
of the Bolshevik centres was of course cloaked in deep secrecy. 
No one knew anything of what Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, and 
Stalin, who had been hiding away from the Congress some- 
where, were doing or thinking. And, by the way, where was 
Trotsky, who two days before had been calling for twelve 
Peshekhonovs, and now had also vanished from the Congress to 
avoid taking a stand on the question of the demonstration? None 
of them, of course, was sleeping that night. But Catiline did not 
report his machinations to Cicero. 

Early next morning the Congress delegates learned of some 
of the results of the nocturnal labours of the Bolshevik leaders. 


Krylenko had obviously known what he was saying that night 
at the Congress: the Bolsheviks really came half-way to meet the 
ruling Soviet majority. That night their Central Committee 
cancelled the demonstration. 

At 9 o'clock in the morning of June loth, the delegates who 
had spent the night among the Petersburg masses began 
crowding into the Tauride Palace : a conference opened in the 
White Hall. The first part, dealing with 'principles', was brief 
but extremely typical. Lunacharsky reported the cancellation 
of the demonstration and told the history of the whole affair. 
The demonstration had actually been Initiated at the Durnovo 
villa, where a self-appointed committee representing ninety 
factories was in session. As for the Bolsheviks, they were against 
it, and in any case today there wouldn't be one. The incident 
was liquidated; now they ought to put a stop to the inter-party 
quarrel, forgetting the mistakes of the past for the sake of the 
tasks ahead. 

Lunacharsky's information was clearly not authentic. The 
Bolshevik centre had made no bones about leading him astray. 
But his conclusions were not only honest and humanly sensible 
but also the only correct ones politically. However, he was 
immediately attacked by Dan not for his information, but 
precisely for his conclusions. 

'After everything that's happened unctuousness Is out of 
place, 5 declared the venerable member of the Star Chamber. 
'Once for all we have to finish with a situation in which such 
unexpected complications are possible. There must be a careful 
investigation to show who is to blame. . .' 

Dan's speech was drowned in applause. Lunacharsky tried to 
explain again that it was not a question of who was responsible, 
nor of the Bolsheviks, pursuit of whom would simply exacerbate 
the situation. The most profound discontent among the workers 
had been aroused by general causes, which ought to be paid 
attention to. 

Summed up before us in a nutshell were the classic inter- 
relationships between the Government and the Opposition, or 
between a rootless dictatorship and the champions of demo- 
cracy. The situation was acute; but for the blind rulers there 
was no doubt of the correctness of their path to the truth and no 
obstacles except malefactors. 


Trotsky was now there too. He was vigorously urged to the 
platform, but he held his tongue and didn't go. Why? 

The second, informational part of this conference was equally 
interesting. The delegates who had spent the night among the 
Petersburg masses reported on the situation in the regiments and 
factories. These reports seemed to leave no doubt that the 
Coalition's cause could not be improved by looking for the 
malefactors or taking reprisals against them. About fifteen 
speakers succeeded one another on the platform supporters of 
the Coalition and of the ruling Soviet bloc. They all said 
roughly the same thing: 

The delegates were met everywhere with extreme unfriend- 
liness and allowed to pass only after lengthy disputes. On the 
Vyborg Side there was nothing but Bolsheviks and Anarchists. 
Neither the Congress nor the Petersburg Soviet had the slightest 
authority. They were spoken of just like the Provisional Govern- 
ment: the Menshevik-SR majority had sold itself to the bour- 
geoisie and the imperialists ; the Provisional Government was a 
counter-revolutionary gang. In particular people at the Durnovo 
villa had declared that the decision of the Congress didn't mean 
anything and that the demonstration would take place. On 
Basil Island it was the same thing. 'Demonstrating' was ex- 
tremely popular amongst the workers, and held out the only 
real hopes for a change. Among the regiments the Congress was 
proclaimed a gang of landlords and capitalists, or their hire- 
lings; the liquidation of the Coalition Government was con- 
sidered urgent. Only the Bolsheviks were trusted, and whether 
the demonstration took place or not depended solely on the 
Bolshevik Central Committee, The Socialist Ministers were 
sneered at as traitors and hirelings. 

There was hardly any information of a different character; 
one or two exceptions served to confirm the rule. In any case the 
delegates' impressions boiled down to this: there was no 
possibility of holding back the working-class masses; if the 
demonstration were prevented today, it was inevitable to- 
morrow; there could be no contact, reconciliation, or agreement 
between the working class of the capital and the ruling Soviet 

The foundation of the Coalition was splitting at every seam. 


Nevertheless June loth passed without any demonstrations. 
In the course of the day the Ex. Com. and the Star Chamber 
received a whole series of reassuring reports. In many factories 
and military units resolution against the scheduled demonstra- 
tion were passed- There were even a few reluctant expressions of 
loyalty to the All-Russian Congress of Soviets. 

The spirits of the Star Chamber went up. It evidently took 
the exceptions to be the rule, and the military organizations for 
the masses of the soldiers, while the Socialist Ministers laid con- 
fidence in the Congress to their own account, that is, the account 
of the entire Coalition. 

But did the Soviet leaders pull themselves up? Did they think 
of taking advantage of the breathing-spell to change the Coali- 
tion policy and proceed resolutely towards the fulfilment of a 
programme of peace, bread, and land? 

Alas! The wisdom of the Star Chamber was accessible to only 
one kind of measure. Having overcome their panic and plucked 
up their courage, the Menshevik-SR leaders flung themselves 
into an offensive against the Bolsheviks. 

On Sunday June nth, around 5 in the afternoon, in one 
of the classrooms of the Military Academy, a closed joint 
session of the highest Soviet Institutions, the Ex. Com., the 
Praesidlum of the Congress, and the Bureau of each of its 
fractions, was called. In all about 100 people were there, in- 
cluding the majority of the Soviet party leaders. Trotsky was 
there too; I don't remember Zinoviev, but Lenin of course was 

It will be remembered that the object of the meeting was 
known only to the intimates of the Star Chamber. But the 
atmosphere was extremely tense and saturated with passion. 
There was no longer merely excitement here, but also bitter 
hatred. It was obvious that the ruling clique was preparing some 

At the chairman's table, the teacher's desk, sat Chkheidze; he 
announced that the question of the demonstration that hadn't 
taken place the day before would be debated. Some of his 
intimates, or simply pushful people, were sitting on primitive 
benches or standing around the chairman, in an untidy-looking 
fashion. The others, distributed at the pupils' desks, were wait- 
ing in concentrated silence to see what would happen. 


It seemed that a 'Special Commission' had been formed to pre- 
pare this conference. Dan spoke in its name. 

'The Bolshevik action/ he said, 'was a political adventure. In 
future, demonstrations of individual parties ought to be per- 
mitted only with the knowledge and approval of the Soviet. 
Military units as such may take part only in demonstrations 
arranged by the Soviets. Parties which do not submit to these 
requirements ought to be excluded from the Soviets.' 

The point of all this was elementary. In the Soviets the 
Bolsheviks were in a minority; by introducing a licensing system 
for demonstrations the 'Special Commission 5 was putting Bol- 
sheviks in the power of the Mensheviks and SRs and practically 
depriving them of the right to demonstrate. This was done 
to stop the Bolshevik criminals from using the right of demon- 
stration for uprisings like the one in April, or for any other 
schemes against the ruling bloc. It was actually a special decree 
directed against the Bolsheviks. 

The wisdom of the Star Chamber was incapable of devising 
anything more for the salvation of the revolution. But Dan had 
forgotten Camille Desnioulins's winged words : A decree cannot 
prevent the seizure of the Bastille. If it was a question of an up- 
rising, then good God ! how comical it was to try to fight it with 
a decree, even a special one. 

But Dan also forgot something else, no less vital. As ironical 
exclamations, protests, sarcasms and laughter began in the hall, 
a very Right-wing Menshevik, the worker Bulkin, reminded him 
of this elementary fact. He said that times change, and today's 
majority might turn out to be tomorrow's minority. It might 
turn out that it was preparing to repress itself and introducing 
into revolutionary practice methods of political struggle that 
would result badly for their initiators. 

This, of course, was the sacred truth, but still not all: the 
transformation of the majority into a minority and vice versa was 
not only possible; it was inevitable in the very near future. And 
for those who knew the Bolsheviks -as well as Dan and his com- 
rades knew them, one would think it must have been clear that 
in the event of a real victory of Lenin the ruling bloc would not 
have too good a time of it. . . But nothing was clear to the 
Menshevik-SR leaders. They were blind as owls at high noon. 

The conference wanted to hear the Bolsheviks themselves. 


Kamenev responded. He tried to be calm, sober, and ironical 
under the gaze of a majority filled with hatred and contempt. 
He even tried to take the offensive. What in reality was all 
the fuss about? A pacific demonstration had been scheduled, 
which flowed out of the right of the revolution and had never 
been forbidden before by anyone. Then the demonstration had 
been cancelled, simply because the Congress wished it. Where, 
in all this, was there even the shadow of illegality in the first 
place, or disloyalty in the second? 

I think Kamenev's argument was completely clear and con- 
vincing. It evidently appeared incontestable to a very great 
many. But for some reason his irony was unsuccessful. One 
would have thought he knew how to be in the minority and was 
used to glances of hatred, but he was strangely pale and agitated, 
and his state of mind was communicated to the whole group of 

Kamenev was asked a series of questions. But Tsereteli leaped 
up and demanded that the questioning should cease : it was not 
a matter of details, and the entire problem required to be stated 
quite differently. Tsereteli was just as pale as Kamenev, and, 
agitated as never before, was hopping violently from one foot to 
the other. He was plainly preparing to say something really out 
of the ordinary. 

And as a matter of fact it was already out of the ordinary for 
Tsereteli to speak against Dan in public: in the 'Special Com- 
mission 5 he had evidently been in the minority and was now 
appealing to the meeting. Dan's resolution was of no use at all; 
Tsereteli waved a contemptuous hand at it. What was needed 
now was something else, also very much out of the ordinary. 

'What has happened', he cried, the vein on his temple swell- 
ing up., 'is nothing but a plot against the revolution, a conspiracy 
for the overthrow of the Government and the seizure of power 
by the Bolsheviks, who know that they can never get this power 
in any other way. The conspiracy was rendered harmless when 
we discovered it. But it may be repeated tomorrow. They say 
that counter-revolution has lifted its head. That's not true. 
Counter-revolution has not raised its head, but lowered it. 
Counter-revolution can penetrate to us only through one door: 
through the Bolsheviks. What the Bolsheviks are doing now is 
no longer ideological propaganda, it is a plot. The weapon of 


criticism is being replaced by criticism with weapons. Let the 
Bolsheviks accuse us as they will, now we shall go over to other 
methods of struggle. Those revolutionaries who cannot worthily 
wield their arms must have those arms taken away. The 
Bolsheviks must be disarmed. We will not permit any con- 
spiracies. . , 5 

Tsereteli sat down, A tempest swept over the meeting com- 
plete consternation. Some were overwhelmed by the extra- 
ordinary content of Tsereteli's words, others by their strange- 
ness and lack of clarity. The Opposition demanded an explana- 
tion. Kamenev cried out: c Mr. Minister, if you're not talking 
wildly don't confine yourself to words, arrest me and try me for 
plotting against the revolution!' 

Tsereteli was silent. The handful of Bolsheviks all noisily got 
to their feet and left the hall protesting. . . 

But even without the Bolsheviks there was still someone left to 
pick a bone with Tsereteli. The Interdistrictite Trotsky re- 
mained in the hall. Martov asked for the floor at once. But even 
amongst the majority the mood was far from favourable to 
Minister Tsereteli. Some officer, completely shaken up by 
what had happened, let out hysterical shrieks. A general attack 
was launched on two fronts: both against the Bolsheviks and 
against Tsereteli. 

First of all what special information had Mr. Minister in 
fact? If definite information of an attempt at a coup d'tiat exists 
then communicate it. If not, don't draw these conclusions. 
Then, what do you mean by conspiracy? Is it the malevolence 
of a clique towards the Provisional Government and the existing 
order? In your blindness you can think as you please, but to 
anyone with eyes it's obvious that we are faced by a vast popular 
movement, that this can only be a question of an uprising on the 
part of the proletarian and soldier masses of the capital, and 
that no repressing of cliques or even of parties can help. What is 
needed here is a change of regime, martial law and an iron hand 
with the workers. The only logical thing now is a bourgeois 
dictatorship, and the end of the revolution. 

Tsereteli proposed 'disarming the Bolsheviks*. What did that 
actually mean? Removing some special arsenal that the Bol- 
shevik Central Committee possessed? Nonsense the Bol- 
sheviks, after all, had no special stores of arms : all arms were in 


the hands of the soldiers and workers, the great mass of whom 
followed the Bolsheviks. Disarming the Bolsheviks could only 
mean disarming the proletariat. More than that, it meant the 
troops. This was not only bourgeois dictatorship, but also 
childish nonsense. Perhaps it meant setting brother against 
brother in the workers' camp, dividing the proletariat into 
white and black, handing out arms according to party labels- 
or perhaps creating special cadres of Praetorians for Tsereteli 
and Tereshchenko? 

Well, all right. Let us grant that this is a splendid programme. 
But the question arises how to realise it. Was Tsereteli going to 
take arms away from the proletarian-soldier masses with his own 
hand, to throw them at Tereshchenko's feet? 'We shall go over 
to other methods.' But how? 

In Petersburg there were of course very many workers and 
even more soldiers who would not take part in a Bolshevik 
conspiracy, or overthrow the Coalition by armed force. But 
where was there even a shadow of reason to think that with these 
arms they would advance against their comrades, the soldiers 
and workers of the neighbouring factories and regiments? 

It was even plainer that the Bolshevik workers and units would 
not willingly hand over the rifles given them by the revolution. 
They could be disarmed only by force, which didn't exist, 
Mr. Minister's programme was a Utopia. 

In the course of the debate Martov recalled Cavour's remark 
that any donkey could govern by means of a state of siege. 
That's how the Bolsheviks governed later on. Alas! It would 
have been beyond Tsereteli's capacity even with the help of a 

I don't remember all the course of this 'historic' meeting. But 
in any case it should not be thought that the Minister of Posts 
and Telegraphs was left without support. Still in the same taut 
atmosphere, saturated with passions, there came to his aid the 
sworn Bolshevik-eater, the rabid Lieber, on the point of burst- 
ing. He was undoubtedly the principal source of information 
concerning the conspiracy. I have no idea where he got his 
information, or just what he'd heard. But here at the meeting, in 
any case, he had no more to tell than Tsereteli. His support 
didn't consist of any new information but in deepening the 
statesmanlike wisdom of his leader. Raising two fingers, he fell 


on the Bolsheviks with the ferocity of a famished beast, in a sort 
of sensual ecstasy. Hopping on the tips of his toes, shrilling away 
and working on the nerves of his audience, he frenziedly de- 
manded the most 'decisive measures' the repression, eradica- 
tion, and punishment of all the disobedient workers with all the 
means at the State's disposal. 

Suddenly, from the bench where Martov was sitting, there 
was heard the word 'Merzavets!' [scoundrel]. 

The hall gasped and then froze, and so did the chairman and 
the speaker himself. The atmosphere was incandescent, this 
kind of 'exchange of ideas' in the revolution was still un- 
heard of. 

Later it appeared that the epithet Martov had hurled at 
Lieber was not 'merzavets' but 'versalets' [i.e., Versaillean] . It 
was not a term of abuse, but a description. And an absolutely 
accurate one. 

The debates lasted many hours, to the point of total exhaus- 
tion. But the results were not clear. The meeting was interrupted 
and not re-opened until night. The passage of Dan's resolution 
was secured, but Tsereteli refused to be reconciled and insisted 
on the acceptance of other, non-verbal measures. He fought 
with characteristic energy, one might say desperately. Un- 
ceremoniously abusing his ministerial position he was con- 
tinually taking the floor out of order. Finally I could no longer 
endure it and shouted at him some phrase like the one flung by 
Louvet at Danton, when the latter began to speak without the 
Chairman's permission: 'You are not yet king, Danton!' 
Tsereteli was silent for a few seconds, shuffling from one foot to 
the other, not knowing how to express his contempt, then he 
snapped, shrugging his shoulders, 'I'm not speaking to the 

Nevertheless he failed to convince the others either. I don't 
recall exactly how the meeting ended, at early dawn: but the 
fact is that in general it agreed with the majority of the Star 
Chamber and not with its extremist leader. 

At the end of the June isth session Bogdanov took the floor 
for an emergency resolution in the name of the Praesidium. His 
resolution was interesting; I later learned that Dan had 


originated it. It was proposed to organize an 'official Soviet' 
workers' and peasants' peaceful demonstration the following 
Sunday, June i8th, in Petersburg, and in other cities as far as 
possible. At this tense moment of internal struggle in the Soviet 
it ought to illustrate the unity of the democracy and its strength 
in the face of the common enemy. The slogans of this demonstra- 
tion ought to be only those common to all Soviet parties. In the 
opinion of those proposing the resolution these slogans were: the 
unification of the democracy around the Soviets, peace without 
annexations or indemnities, and the earliest convocation of the 
Constituent Assembly. 

The idea of this demonstration revealed the triumph of a 
softer line within the Star Chamber with respect to the Bol- 
sheviks. In any case the June i8th demonstration was the tribute 
of vice to virtue. The resolution was, of course, passed in the 
absence of the Bolsheviks. It goes without saying that the 
Bolsheviks had no grounds for objection either. Let us see what 

came of it. 

* * * 

At that time, in the summer of 1917, the truth about the 
abortive demonstration of June loth seemed to be exactly what 
I have described in the preceding pages. But now, just three 
years later, I can add the following. What the Bolsheviks said at 
meetings, and what Pravda printed, was in any case not the 
entire truth about the demonstration. A few people 'instinctively' 
divined the real truth, but nobody knew it except a dozen or so 
Bolsheviks. I personally learned it very much later, not before 

There was no real conspiracy. Neither strategic dispositions nor 
plans for the occupation of the city and its individual points and 
institutions were worked out. Nor on the other hand do I think 
the political intentions of the insurgents were any more de- 
veloped. Nevertheless the smoke was not without fire. 

It is essential to understand clearly that a Bolshevik 'plot' or 
uprising, if it had taken place at that time, would have had an 
irrefragable logic. What objective goal could it have had? Of its 
negative aspect there could be no doubt the Coalition must be 
annihilated, a thing which could not have been easier in itself. 
But from a positive point of view? This was verbally ex- 
pressed by the words: 'All Power to the Soviets'. But the 


Soviets, after all, were all at hand, In the form of the Congress. 
They stood for the Coalition and were categorically refusing 
power. To force power on them against their will was im- 
possible. An uprising might have pushed them into taking power, 
but it was more likely that it would have rallied Soviet-bour- 
geois elements against the Bolsheviks and their slogans. In any 
case it was obvious that if an uprising were to be started it would 
have to be started not only against the bourgeoisie, but also 
against the Soviet democracy, embodied in the Congress that was its 
highest authority. The Petersburg proletariat and the Bolshevik 
regiments, as the minority that began it all, with their slogan of 
'All Power to the Soviets', would have had to advance against 
the Soviets and the Congress. That meant that with the 
liquidation of the Provisional Government, the power could 
have passed only to the Bolshevik Central Committee, that had 
initiated the uprising. 

But the Bolsheviks had not begun an uprising aimed directly 
at this goal. The dense smoke that went on curling around us 
for a long time after June loth came from a little fire burning 
around Lenin in the conspiratorial chambers of the Bolshevik 
Central Committee. This was the situation: Lenin's group was 
not directly aiming at the seizure of power, but it was ready to 
seize it in favourable circumstances, which it was taking steps to create. 

Speaking concretely, the target of the demonstration 
scheduled for June loth was the Marian Palace, the residency 
of the Provisional Government. That was where the working- 
class detachments and the regiments loyal to the Bolsheviks 
were to make their way. Specially appointed individuals were to 
express 'popular discontent' while the Ministers were speaking, 
and work the masses up. When that mood was at the right 
temperature the Provisional Government were to be arrested on 
the spot. The capital, of course, was expected to react to this 
at once, and the Bolshevik Central Committee, under that or 
another name, depending on the character of the reaction, was 
to declare itself in power. If in the course of the 'demonstration' 
the mood was sufficiently favourable and the resistance of Lvov- 
Tsereteli was not great, that resistance was to be crushed by the 
force of Bolshevik regiments and arms. 

According to the data of the Bolshevik 'Military Organiza- 
tion', it was assumed that action against the Bolsheviks would be 


taken by these regiments : the Semyonovsky, the Preobrazhen- 
sky, the gth Cavalry Reserve, the two Cossack regiments, and 
of course the military cadets. The Bolshevik centres regarded 
the four Imperial Regiments of Guards the Izmailovsky, the 
Petrogradsky, the Cuxholm, and the Lithuanian as wavering 
and doubtful. The Volhynian Regiment also looked unreliable. 
But in any case these regiments were considered not an active 
hostile force but merely neutral. It was thought they wouldn't 
come out either for or against a revolt. The Finnish Regiment, 
which not long before had been the chattel of non-Bolshevik 
internationalists, ought to observe at least a benevolent neutrality. 
The Armoured Division, an extremely important part of the 
garrison and a first-class factor in an uprising, was in those days 
evenly divided between Lenin and Tsereteli; but if the matter 
was decided by a majority of its personnel then the workshops 
definitely gave Lenin the advantage. 

As for the regiments that were completely loyal to the 
Bolsheviks, and ready to serve as an active force in the revolt, 
they were the following: the ist and 2nd Machine-Gun Regi- 
ments, the Moscow, the Grenadiers, the ist Reserve, the 
Pavlovsky, the iSoth (which had a substantial number of 
Bolshevik officers), the garrison of the Peter-Paul Fortress, and 
rank-and-file of the Michael Artillery School, which had the 
artillery. It must be remarked that all these units were located on 
the Petersburg and the Vyborg Sides, around the Bolshevik 
centre, Kshesinskaya's house. In addition, active support for the 
uprising ought to come from the suburbs: first, Kronstadt; 
then Peterhof, where the 3rd Army Reserve Regiment, which 
the Bolsheviks controlled, was stationed, and Krasnoe Selo, 
with the i yGth Regiment, where the Interdistrictites were 
firmly established. If necessary these units could have been 
summoned to Petersburg at once. 

All these 'insurrectionary' regiments, taken together, were to 
crush the resistance of the Soviet-Coalition armed forces, 
terrorize the Nevsky Prospect and the lower middle classes of 
the capital, and serve as the real support of a new Government. 
The above-mentioned leader of the ist Machine-Gun Regi- 
ment, 2nd Lieutenant Semashko, was appointed commander-in- 
chief of all the armed forces of the c insurrectionaries'. 

On the military-technical side the success of the revolt was 


practically assured. In this respect the Bolshevik organization 
was already competent even then. 

In the political core of the 'uprising 9 , the Central Committee, 
the matter was put, as we have seen, conditionally, optionally. 
The revolt and the seizure of power ought to be accomplished, 
given a favourable conjuncture of circumstances. Here there 
was embodied in action what Lenin had said at the Congress 
three days before: that the Bolshevik Party was ready to take power 
into its hands alone at any moment. But readiness to take power into 
one's hands means only a mood, a political attitude. It still does 
not mean a definite intention to take power at a given moment. 
The Bolshevik Central Committee could not make up its mind 
to put the question in that way. It had simply decided to create 
conditions favourable to a violent reversal of the situation. And 
this excellently reflected its vacillations during those days. It 
was willing, but hesitant. It was both ready, and not ready; it 
could and it could not. 

The waverings of the Bolshevik Central Committee reflected 
the position of its individual members, the focal personalities of 
the Bolshevism of the time. It is understandable that the more 
their temperament and will to action dominated their common 
sense the less they wavered. Stalin, supported by Stasova and 
also by all those who, while not in central positions, were in the 
know, and thought that a whiff of powder would not pollute 
the revolutionary atmosphere, stood inexorably for the over- 
throw of the Government. Lenin occupied an intermediate, most 
unstable and opportunistic position the same as the official 
position of the Central Committee. Kamenev, of course, and 
I think Zinoviev, were against the seizure of power. Of this pair 
of cronies one soit dit had been a Menshevik and the other, in 
addition to his great abilities, possessed the well-known qualities 
of the cat and the rabbit. I don't know who else of the Bolshevik 
leaders determined the fate of the overturn at that time. 

On the night of the gth, when c the conspiracy was dis- 
covered 5 , the persons mentioned, in accordance with the plan 
they had adopted, were discussing the question of cancelling the 
demonstration. Stalin was against cancellation; he thought that 
the opposition of the Congress by no means altered the objective 
conjuncture, and that Cicero was to be expected to 'forbid' 
Catiline to act. From his point of view Stalin was right. On the 


other hand, the 'cronies', of course, stood for submission to the 
Congress and for cancelling the demonstration. But it was 
naturally Lenin who decided the matter. In his opportunistic 
mood he was given a push and indecisively held back. The 
'demonstration' was called off. 

What was the Interdistrictite Trotsky's role in all this busi- 
ness? I don't know anything about it. Two or three days before 
the 'demonstration' Lenin had said publicly that he was ready to 
take the whole power into his own hands, but Trotsky said at the 
same time that he wanted to see twelve Peshekhonovs in power. 
There's a difference there. Nevertheless I think Trotsky was 
attracted to the affair of June loth. I have no other grounds for 
this than some features of his behaviour: while they may be in- 
sufficient to characterize his attitude they show very clearly that 
he was informed, and also that Lenin even then was not inclined 
to enter a decisive battle without this dubious Interdistrictite. 
For Trotsky, like Lenin, was a monumental partner in the 
monumental game, and in Lenin's own party, after himself, 
there was nothing for a very, very, very long time. 

Such was the June loth affair, one of the most significant 
episodes of the revolution. 1 

It was 'favourably' liquidated by the Star Chamber with the 
help of the Congress and the Petersburg Soviet. But obviously 
this changed nothing in the general political conjuncture. The 
leaders didn't recover their sight, the rulers did not change, the 
temper of the masses remained as before. The capital was 
plainly living on a volcano. The Government was 'ruling' in the 
Marian Palace; the Congress and its sections were carrying on 
'organic labours' in the Military Academy. All this, however, 
could hide the real perspective only from the most case- 
hardened philistines, while the essence of the situation lay in 
this, that now, in the cracks that had split the democracy 
asunder, the shadow of the barricades could be most distinctly 

Passions went on seething in the Military Academy. Both sides 
were preparing for a review of strength in the official Soviet 
demonstration of June i8th. 

1 Trotsky has some special comments on this episode in Appendix III to Vol. I of 
his History. (Ed.) 


Around this time Dr. Manukhin turned up in the Military 
Academy, and sought me out among the throng on urgent 

Manukhin, as a trustworthy and well-known figure, was the 
prison physician at the Peter-Paul Fortress. There had already 
been a number of instances where Manukhin, recognizing that 
conditions in the Fortress were deadly for the prisoners, had 
demanded the transfer of some of them to other places of deten- 
tion. Now he was demanding that Vyrubova, the Tsarina's 
famous lady-in-waiting, be transferred from the Peter-Paul. 
The Procurator had agreed and made all the necessary arrange- 
ments, but the Fortress garrison had said that regardless of what 
the practice in the past had been, in the future it would not 
allow any of the Tsar's servants to be transferred from the 
Fortress : it didn't trust the Government and didn't see any other 
guarantees that justice would be done on its hangmen than 
keeping them in the Fortress, guarded by its own bayonets. 
This was a sign of the times, a product of the decay of the 

The agitated Manukhin hastily explained to me why emer- 
gency measures were necessary. A mood was finally becoming 
defined in the garrison in favour of dealing with the prisoners 
arbitrarily. A kind of plot had been discovered, of which the 
first victim was to be Vyrubova. Only that night a number of 
the sentries' revolvers had been missed. A massacre was hourly 
to be expected. 

Manukhin heatedly insisted that I go off with him to the 
Peter-Paul Fortress at once. As an Ex. Com. member I ought to 
impress on the garrison the complete inadmissibility of this kind 
of action, pacify it, and personally conduct Vyrubova out of the 
Fortress. The excursion upset my plans, but nevertheless I 
needed no lengthy urging. I had never yet set foot in the famous 
Fortress. I was tempted by the opportunity of visiting it, while 
the task didn't seem difficult to me. I thought the garrison would 
yield before the name of the Ex. Com. For greater assurance I 
invited Anisimov, a member of the Soviet Praesidium I ran 
into, to go with me : as a completely official personage it was up 
to him to defend Coalition law and order. A member of the 
Soviet Praesidium might prove more authoritative for the 'loyaP 
part of the garrison, while I might be useful as a representative 


of the Left Opposition, which was protesting in my person 
against the soldiers' usurpation of authority. Essentially I had 
no doubt that the Government, of course, deserved no con- 
fidence; as citizens, the soldiers could and should protest against 
its activities and try to get rid of it, but while it was still in power, 
they, as soldiers, were obliged to execute its, orders. In any case 
the arbitrary behaviour of individual groups should cease; 
workers and soldiers could make policy only according to the 
will of the Soviet. That had always been my line. 

In awe and trepidation I passed through the gates of the 
Russian Bastille, past stalwart sentries who spent a long time 
studying our papers. In my capacity as one of the 'authorities' I 
was behind the walls where the vanguard of many a Russian 
generation had drained their cups. Manukhin was very worried 
about how the garrison would meet us, and what would come of 
our expedition; he even doubted whether the guard would allow 
us into the Trubetskoy "Bastion. But I was more occupied with 
observing my surroundings. 

Everything, however, went off perfectly. The commandant, a 
recently-appointed, modest, young, disabled soldier, with one 
arm, was summoned to the crude, gloomy commandant's 
quarters. It was clear that he had no real contact with a garrison 
which was inclining towards Bolshevism, and he was quite 
unable to vouch for its temper. His detail hadn't expected our 
arrival, and had scattered in various directions on their own 
affairs. The commandant collected the representatives of the 
separate sections of the garrison, and we members of the Ex. 
Com. made admonitory speeches to them. Our listeners did not 
argue, and if they did not agree, at any rate they were ready to 
submit. It is true that they hinted, with a tinge of censure, at 
the mood of their units, which, they said, got excited* over 
nothing and might call them to account for taking the decision 
on themselves. But they finally accepted the responsibility for 
releasing Vyrubova from the fortress if the sentries in the 
prison itself would only agree. 

We all had to make our way at once into the Trubetskoy 
Bastion. There was absolutely nothing either menacing, 
frightening, or gloomy in -the broad grass-covered square or the 
surrounding buildings. Led by the commandant past some 
tumbledown carts, rusty kettles, and other quite prosaic objects, 


we came to the crude and unimpressive gate of the Trubetskoy 
Bastion. The sentry let us through quite indifferently. 

Manukhin, who was used to these surroundings, was still 
uneasy; he kept hurrying on and distracting me with talk 
about the affair in hand. He didn't understand me; I was 
completely absorbed in studying the prison, fell behind the 
procession, and worried the slightly perplexed commandant 
with questions. But in a way I was quite disappointed with the 

We were taken to an office to which Vyrubova was also to be 
brought. There were two or three rooms which looked not 
merely unprisonlike, but even unofficial, with their shabby, 
almost homelike furnishings. There we had to wait for some 
special personage who had got lost somewhere and who was the 
only one who had the right to penetrate under the sacred vaults, 
to the cells themselves. 

The two-storey prison building formed a triangle. At this 
time only the cells of the second floor, where the office was also 
located, were occupied by Tsarist dignitaries. Perhaps it was in 
this cheerful little office that newcomers were searched with 
extraordinary thoroughness. A triangular little garden, over- 
grown with thick grass, could be seen from its windows, which 
looked on the interior of the triangle. A boarded walk was laid 
out along the walls of the triangle, around the little garden, 
where prisoners were walking about. In the corner, under a 
tree, a tiny hut could be seen, looking quite pastoral: this was 
the bath-house. 

While waiting for the supervisor, I expressed a strong desire 
to go into the cells themselves and see the very entrails of the 
prison. The guard on duty, a soldierly-looking fellow, didn't 
object for his part, and merely expressed doubt that the sentry 
standing at the iron gate opposite the office would let me pass. 
But after a few words the latter did so. We entered a broad 
corridor that went along the outer side of the triangle, and were 
met by a warder who according to the old custom was in silent 
felt boots. He was practically the only one in all three wings. 
The duty guard suggested that we go into the cells and talk to 
the prisoners. But that would perhaps have been awkward and 
unsuitable, although not without interest, and I declined. But I 
couldn't help looking through the peep-hole into a number of 


the cells. The guard and Manukhin, who was at home here, told 
me the names of their occupants. 

For myself, quite used to imprisonment, this looking through 
a peephole at someone caged up was also perfectly matter-of- 
fact. How many friends and comrades had I seen in the course 
of my life only through a peephole! And now, when my own 
gaolers were before me, curiosity easily overcame squeamish- 
ness. I remember that Protopopov was sound asleep with his 
back to the door. Sturmer was sitting on a bunk holding a small 
book. And then I heard the name of an old friend of mine, 
Vlssarionov, one of the most talented and pernicious of the 
Tsarist Secret Police. While he was an assistant Procurator in 
Moscow he used to visit my cell In the Taganka. Later, during 
the war, when he was the chief Petersburg censor, I had to turn 
hastily away whenever he appeared, when I visited the censor's 
office on Sovremennik and Letopis business: I was living in the 
capital illegally, and the keen eye of the Secret Policeman might 
have recognized me even after ten years. 

Now Vissarlonov, sitting at a table, was attentively reading a 
sheet of note-paper. 

A denunciation! flashed through my mind, though in the 
circumstances such an occupation would have been quite 

On my request an empty cell was opened. Splendid cells in 
the Peter-Paul! Light, clean, and about twice as large as in a 
'model' prison. 

'This isn't too bad!' I summed up my impressions. 'We've 
seen a lot worse.' 

Then we heard that Vyrubova was now ready to go. We went 
to her cell. A pretty young woman, with a simple, typically 
Russian face, got up to meet us, very excited at the imminent 
change, as is always the case in prisons. She was on crutches, I 
think as a result of a railway accident. 

'But I haven't a coat! 5 she said, naively and confusedly. 

She had to go without one. Manukhin was extremely excited : 
our slow-moving procession had to get past a whole series of 
sentries. Indeed, the times were such that a sentry was no less 
important than the Minister of Justice. The sentries watched our 
procession rather gloomily and suspiciously, but made no attempt 
to detain it. Manukhin insisted that we should personally con- 


duct Vyrubova outside the gates of the fortress and into a 
prison hospital. Everything went off all right. 

In the preparations of the Soviet parties for the June i8th 
demonstration, the ruling bloc took part without undue 
urgency. First of all, it had no doubts as to its victory under an 
'official Soviet* banner; secondly it had neither the proper 
attraction to the masses, nor any skill in dealing with them. In 
general, the Menshevik-SR bloc was at that time a model of a 
decaying Government, congealed in its assurance and self- 
satisfied blindness. The Bolsheviks, on the contrary, were fever- 
ishly busy in the entrails of the proletarian capital, ploughing up 
virgin soil and forming their converts into fighting columns. 

But the masses were rushing to battle. The June loth affair, 
not having given their temper a vent, had only exasperated 
them. An official Soviet demonstration, of course, did not 
satisfy the Bolshevik workers and soldiers in the least. Objec- 
tively it ought to have served as a sort of safety-valve against 
explosion : an official Soviet demonstration was obviously of no 
use against the Soviet. But for some reason it was subjectively 
unsatisfactory: the worker-soldier masses, while accepting 
June 1 8th as an excuse to display their strength, were hoping to 
employ it in the near future. 

I don't recall that the Ex. Com. made any special prepara- 
tions for its own official demonstration; when the matter was 
raised it was in the following, peculiarly characteristic manner. 
On Saturday June i yth, the eve of the demonstration, in the 
heat of the 'organic labour' of the Congress, the Ex. Com. 
assembled in one of the uncomfortable rooms of the Military 
Academy. A lot of members were there, most of them on their 
feet with nowhere to sit, squeezing around a crude table and 
two or three ancient benches. The heat was suffocating, and 
there was an atmosphere of irritation. 

I think all the leaders were present; but it was Lieber who 
brought up the subject of the demonstration. Once more, with 
uncontrolled fury, he began to tell us of the Bolshevik 'prepara- 
tions' and the dangers that threatened freedom and the existing 
order. Bolshevik detachments of workers and soldiers were pre- 
paring to come armed; excesses, bloodshed, attempts to attack 


the Government, were inevitable, and had to be nipped in the 
bud by the most determined measures : under no circumstances 
must arms be allowed in the streets. For this a reliable detach- 
ment must be placed at the gates of every doubtful barracks 
and every factory from which the demonstrators would come; 
if they showed themselves with weapons the reliable detach- 
ments must disarm them. 

This is how the Menshevik-SR bankrupts of the Coalition, in 
the person of Lieber, defended freedom and order. I don't recall 
who else spoke for the Right in support of the Lieber recipe, 
but I myself lost my calm and attacked Lieber with as much fury 
as he had the Bolshevik traitors and plotters. I acknowledged 
the risk of senseless bloodshed and unauthorized activities if 
the streets of Petersburg were filled with arms. But it was 
obvious that Lieber's statesmanlike wisdom and his methods by 
no means prevented this, but on the contrary, made it all in- 
evitable. After all, it was ridiculous to imagine that a detach- 
ment of workers or soldiers leaving an assembly point with 
arms in their hands against the Soviet's orders would hand over 
these arms without a struggle to a Lieberite 'national guard'. A 
clash was made absolutely inevitable by the very presence of a 
detachment blocking the way. And ten such clashes would mean 
tremendous bloodshed, the beginning of an absurd rebellion, 
and civil war created by panic and political stupidity. This was 
the purely practical side of the matter. As for the principle of it, 
things were no better. 

I made a practical proposal, in view of the alarming mood of 
the masses, that we should at once scatter through the factories 
and barracks, directly explain the significance of the next day's 
demonstration, and try to persuade our hearers not to take arms 
with them, in order to avoid senseless accidental bloodshed. I 
was supported by many, including, if I'm not mistaken, 
Chernov. And that's what was decided. 'Danger' points were 
determined at once and two or three comrades assigned to each 
one, the Bolsheviks also taking part. It was decided to assemble 
again in the Tauride Palace that evening at 10 o'clock for each 
delegation to report on its expedition. 

I was sent to the most ticklish spot, the Durnovo villa. I left 
for the mysterious nest of the terrible anarchists full of doubts. 
Would they let me in? Would they talk? Or, if they had any 


serious plans for the following day, would they not hold me as a 
Soviet hostage? The mission, however, was concluded quite 

We went into the shady courtyard of the villa unhindered. On 
the steps there were no sentries, no passes were demanded, and 
nobody took notice of us. It was evident that outsiders who 
wished to could come in with complete freedom and that they 
often did so. We asked where we could converse officially, in the 
name of the Soviet, with the official representatives of the 
anarchist organization. We were invited into the club. The news 
of our arrival had spread instantaneously and we were sur- 
rounded by curious faces, with rather ironical expressions. The 
rooms were in order and completely furnished, though with 
total confusion of styles. While we waited for the official spokes- 
men we settled ourselves in a large room, converted into an 
auditorium and adorned with black banners and other anarchist 

Bleichman, whom we knew as a habitual Soviet speaker, 
fairly quickly appeared as the representative of the local 
leaders. He had with him a number of people of different kinds, 
both workers and intellectuals. I explained the purpose of our 
visit, laying the main emphasis on the possibility of unfortunate 
incidents, unintentional excesses, and guns going off of their 
own accord. I told them what the Soviet insisted on and asked 
for an account of the intentions and views of the anarchists 
themselves. Bleichman replied without wasting words: for the 
anarchists the Soviet was quite without authority; if the Bol- 
sheviks chose to join in its decisions that meant nothing the 
Soviet was essentially the servant of the bourgeoisie and the 
landlords; the anarchists had no definite intentions for the next 
day; they would take part in the demonstration with their 
black flags; and as for their coming armed they might not, 
and then again they might. 

The dialogue got rather long-winded. I couldn't get a more 
definite answer: had they decided to go armed or unarmed? 
Nor did either my diplomacy or my attempts at persuading 
them to leave their arms at home have any definite success. I 
kept coming up against a quite simple and yet insurmountable 
obstacle: it was, they said, just because they would not submit to 
anyone but acted as the good Lord inspired them that they were 


anarchists. It was only when the official conversation became 
private that my interlocutors began to emit rather more soothing 

'Don't worry, we're not that sort; everything will go off all 
right/ they said directly or obliquely. 

They took us off as private guests to show us their premises. 
We went out into an enormous shady garden where large groups 
of workers were quietly strolling about. The lawns were over- 
run with children. There was a kiosk at the entrance where 
anarchist literature was sold or given away. A speaker was stand- 
ing on a tall stump making a naive speech about the ideal 
structure for society. Not very many people were listening to 
him. There was obviously more relaxation here than concern 
with politics. The very widespread popularity of this anarchist 
nest amongst working-class circles in the capital was quite 

I would not have minded starting a general conversation with 
the local public, or perhaps even climbing up on the stump in 
my turn, but a warm, heavy shower started to fall; accompanied 
by a large and benevolent group of people, we found our car and 
went home. 

That night the Ex. Com. reassembled in the Tauride Palace. 
There was quite a large crowd. The delegates reported on their 
visits to the unreliable places. All the reports were optimistic: 
the mood everywhere was c loyaP; no excesses were expected; 
people were not preparing to go armed. The most doubtful point 
remained the Durnovo villa; but it was hoped that 'everything 
would go off all right'. 

I don't know just why, but suddenly, under the influence of 
these favourable reports, Tsereteli triumphantly addressed the 
Bolsheviks, especially Kamenev, in an indignantly didactic 
speech : 

'Here we have before us now an open and honest review of 
the forces of the revolution. Tomorrow there will be demonstra- 
ting not separate groups but all the working class of the capital, 
not against the will of the Soviet, but at its invitation. Now we 
shall all see which the majority follows, you or us. This isn't a 
matter of underhand plots but a duel in the open arena. To- 
morrow we shall see. . .' 

Kamenev was discreetly silent. Was he as confident of his own 


victory as Tseretell of his? Was he holding his tongue for 
secrecy, or because he was not confident in the results of the 
review? I myself was not quite confident in them when I left 
late that night to sleep on the Petersburg Side, in the Letopis 

The next day, Sunday the i8th, I left the house around noon. 
As usual, I had no intention of taking part in the procession 
even though it had been decided that the Congress would go in 
full force. . . I left for Gorky's nearby. He or some literary friend 
might go with me to watch the demonstration. But there were 
no literary people around, and Gorky said: 'The demonstra- 
tion's a failure. I've heard from a number of places; only hand- 
fuls of people are marching. The streets are empty; there's 
nothing to see. I'm not going. . .' 

Hm ! Somewhere someone already had his conclusions ready. 
At the same time these conclusions, if correct, could be inter- 
preted in two ways. The demonstration was a 'failure' because 
the revolutionary energy of the masses was drying up; they no 
longer wanted to come out when the Soviet called them and 
demand peace, etc., but to pass on to peaceful labour and finish 
the revolution in spite of the exhortations of Soviet dema- 
gogues and loudmouths. It was obvious which circles, thirsting 
for the reaction, had been anticipating just these conclusions. . . 

But there might be another interpretation: the democracy of 
the capital remained relatively indifferent to the demonstration 
because it was official, 'Soviet 5 , and its slogans did not correspond 
to the mood of the masses; the revolutionary energy had perhaps 
long since definitely rolled past the boundary at which the Star 
Chamber had been trying to stop it. 

But one moment! the failure of the demonstration might be 
utter nonsense. All the Soviet parties, after all, had decided to 
take part in it, and prepared for it ! I went out alone, turning 
towards the Champ de Mars, through which all the columns 
were to march. In the Kamenno-ostrovsky Prospect, near 
Kshesinskaya's house, near Trinity Bridge, it was really rather 
deserted. It was only on the other side of the Neva that detach- 
ments of demonstrators were visible. It was a magnificent day, 
and already hot. 


There wasn't a dense crowd blocking the Champ de Mars, but 
thick columns were moving towards me. 

'Bolsheviks!' I thought, looking at the slogans on the banners. 

I went over to the graves of those who had been killed, where 
familiar Soviet people were standing in compact groups taking 
the salute. Apparently the demonstration was rather behind 
time. The districts had started from the assembly points later 
than schedule. It was still only the first detachments of the 
Petersburg revolutionary army that were parading through the 
Champ de Mars. Columns were still on the way from every 
part of Petersburg. There was nothing, however, to be heard of 
any excesses, disorders or upsets. No arms could be seen 
amongst the demonstrators. 

The columns marched swiftly and in close order. There could 
be no question of a 'failure*, but there was something peculiar 
about this demonstration. On the faces, in the movements, in 
the whole appearance of the demonstrators there was no sign 
of lively participation in what they were doing. There was no 
sign of enthusiasm, or holiday spirits, or political indignation. 
The masses had been called and they had come. They all came 
to do what was required and then go back. . . Probably some 
of those called from their homes and private affairs this Sunday 
were indifferent. Others thought this was a government demon- 
stration, and felt that they were doing not their own business but 
something compulsory and perhaps superfluous. There was a 
businesslike veneer over the entire demonstration. But it was on 
a magnificent scale. All worker and soldier Petersburg took part 
in it. 

But what was the political character of the demonstration? 

'Bolsheviks again/ I remarked, looking at the slogans, 'and 
there behind them is another Bolshevik column.' 

'Apparently the next one too,' I went on calculating, watch- 
ing the banners advancing towards me and the endless rows 
going away towards Michael Castle a long way down the 

'All Power to the Soviets! 5 'Down with the Ten Capitalist 
Ministers!' 'Peace for the hovels, war for the palaces!' 

In this sturdy and weighty way worker-peasant Petersburg, 
the vanguard of the Russian and the world revolution, expressed 
its wilL The situation was absolutely unambiguous. Here and 


there the chain of Bolshevik flags and columns was interrupted 
by specifically SR and official Soviet slogans. But they were 
submerged in the mass; they seemed to be exceptions, inten- 
tionally confirming the rule. Again and again, like the un- 
changing summons of the very depths of the revolutionary 
capital, like fate itself, like the fatal Birnam wood there 
advanced towards us : 'All Power to the Soviets !' 'Down with 
the Ten Capitalist Ministers !' 

An astonishing, bewitching slogan, this! Embodying a vast 
programme in naive and awkward words, it seemed to emerge 
directly from the very depths of the nation, reviving the un- 
conscious, spontaneously heroic spirit of the great French 

At the sight of the measured advance of the fighting columns 
of the revolutionary army, it seemed that the Coalition was 
already formally liquidated and that Messrs, the Ministers, in 
view of the manifest popular mistrust, would quit their places 
that very day without waiting to be urged by more imposing 

I remembered the purblind Tsereteli's fervour of the night 
before. Here was the duel in the open arena! Here was the 
honest legal review offerees in an official Soviet demonstration! 

A few steps away from me Kamenev's stocky figure was 
visible in the thin crowd, rather like a victor acknowledging a 
parade. But he looked more perplexed than triumphant. 

'Well, what now?' I said to him. 'What sort of Government is 
there going to be now? Are you going into a Cabinet with 
Tsereteli, Skobelev and Chernov?' 

'We are,' Kamenev replied, but somehow without real 

The programme of action in the minds of the Bolshevik 
leaders was evidently completely vague. And Kamenev himself 
was vacillation incarnate. 

A detachment was approaching with an enormous, heavy, 
gold-embroidered banner: 'The Central Committee of the 
Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party (Bolsheviks)'. The 
leader demanded that, unlike the others, the detachment be 
allowed to stop and go right up to the graves. Someone who was 
acting as master of ceremonies tried to argue with them, but 
yielded at once. Who and what could have stopped the victors 


from allowing themselves this trifling indulgence, if that was 
what they wanted? 

Then a small column of anarchists appeared. Their black 
flags stood out sharply against the background of the endless red 
ones. The anarchists were armed, and were singing their songs 
with a fiercely challenging look. However, the crowd on the 
Champ de Mars merely greeted them with ironical merriment: 
they didn't seem at all dangerous. 

Such was June i8th in Petersburg. It was a stinging flick of 
the whip in the face of the Soviet majority and the bourgeoisie. 
It was an unexpected revelation to the Star Chamber and its 
purblind leader. But as a matter of fact what could a blind 
man make of a blow on the head from an axe-butt in the 

The bourgeoisie and the politically-minded man in the street 
evaluated things better. But what could they do? The men in 
the street, tormented by forebodings, simply whispered among 
themselves. And the bourgeoisie? Its Ministers, of course, didn't 
retire voluntarily. In the given circumstances they would have 
gained nothing by that and lost everything. It was after all 
really impossible, while retaining a bourgeois dictatorship, to 
take seriously the trust or mistrust of the masses of the people. 
It was after all really impossible to abandon power voluntarily 
when it might pass easily and painlessly into the hands of 
enemies. The experiment of resigning would be permissible 
only when it created difficulties, disorganized the enemy 
camp, and served to strengthen the reaction and the bourgeois 
dictatorship. But what could be done, when the lower 
depths of the revolutionary capital appeared before their very 

It was obvious what could be done. First of all, take no 
official notice. Secondly, prove by means of 'public opinion' 
i.e., the big newspapers that the demonstration had been a 
failure, and that the miserable fragments of the 'revolutionary 
democracy 5 who had been in the streets with their demagogues 
and loudmouths reflected precisely nothing. Thirdly, hide from 
them behind the real 'revolutionary democracy', behind its over- 
whelming majority: not the Bolsheviks of the capital, but the 
All-Russian Congress; not Lenin and Trotsky, but Chaikovsky 
and Tsereteli. To be sure, these must be kicked at once, to teach 


them their place; nevertheless it must be hoped that they 
wouldn't give up. The 'big press' harped on all these themes. 

The capital was seething. The temper of the masses and the 
desire for decisive action were growing daily. In the capital 
there was no longer any need to agitate against the Coali- 

Everywhere, in every corner, in the Soviet, in the Marian 
Palace, in people's homes, in the squares and boulevards, in the 
barracks and factories, everyone was talking about some sort of 
'demonstrations' that were expected any day; nobody knew 
exactly who was going to 'demonstrate 3 , or how or where, but the 
city felt itself to be on the eve of some sort of explosion. 

On Sunday July and, a splendid sunny day, I spent the 
morning chatting amiably and strolling about with Luna- 
charsky, who had stayed with us overnight. At this time I had 
already moved from the Letopis to my own place in the Kar- 
povka. That morning the Bolsheviks were arranging a mass- 
meeting for their ist Machine-Gun Regiment in the huge hall 
of the People's House. Lunacharsky was obliged to speak there, 
with Trotsky and others: the Bolshevik powers thought this 
meeting very important. 

Lunacharsky went to the People's House; but after speaking 
returned and we went for a walk. We admired the beauties of 
Petersburg, and then the three of us Lunacharsky, my wife, 
and myself went to dinner in the famous 'Vienna'. The 
restaurant of literary Bohemia now swarmed with political 
figures of the more or less democratic camp. I had a short talk 
with Chernov, who was now very chilly towards me. 

There was to be an all-city conference that day of the Inter- 
district Party. Lunacharsky, one of the leaders of the group, 
thought it very important. After dinner we set off on foot for 
the conference, somewhere far down the Sadovoy. Lunacharsky 
tried unceasingly to make a convert of me; my wife was already 

The conference agenda included, among other things, the 
question of uniting the Interdistrictites with Lenin's party. It 
was a foregone conclusion. , . Lunacharsky had invited me to 
the conference as a guest; he had no doubt that sooner or later 


I would join the Bolsheviks; but we didn't know whether I 
should be let in. 

After some preliminary negotiations by Lunacharsky, they 
willingly let me into the little hall, which held about fifty dele- 
gates and roughly as many guests. The star performer, sitting 
near a chairman I did not know, was Uritsky. Trotsky was also 
among the delegates, and he was delighted to have me sit by 
him. Steklov was also there as one of the guests. But the majority 
were workers and soldiers unknown to me. There was no doubt 
that here despite the miniature quality of the conference the 
authentic worker-soldier masses were represented. 

We arrived during the 'reports from the floor'. They were 
listened to with interest, and really were interesting. Party work 
was being feverishly carried on and its successes were perceptible 
to everyone. There was one hindrance : c What distinguishes you 
from the Bolsheviks, and why aren't you with them?' All the 
speakers reiterated this, ending with exhortations to flow into 
the Bolshevik sea. 

I well remember the report of the representative of the 
garrison of Krasnoe Selo. He said that they had a monopoly of 
influence there; and the lyGth Regiment was fully at the dis- 
posal of the central organs of the group -for any purpose , at any 
time. The report was clear, full of interesting details, and 
important in its implications. 

The discussion of principles began. I think the question of 
uniting with the Bolsheviks was settled then and there while I 
was present. But I particularly recall the debates on the new 
programme of the party. Here glances turned, naturally, to 

Around this time Lenin had composed his draft of the Bol- 
shevik party programme. I don't think it had yet been pub- 
lished, but it was passing through a few hands in the form of a 
printed pamphlet. It contained a detailed elaboration Apolitical 
questions: parliamentarism, the Soviets, the judiciary, the 
remuneration of officials and specialists. Here were collected all 
the elements of tLat Utopian structure of the state which Lenin 
afterwards passionately defended in his pamphlet State and 
Revolution, and then later still soon after the bitter lessons of 
practice threw overboard as childish delusions and worthless 
rubbish. It was quite remarkable. And it was even more re- 


markable that side by side with this detailed working out of the 
political side the economic programme was allotted only the most 
perfunctory attention. It hardly existed. Its place was evidently 
taken simply by a proposal for 'direct creation from below' and 
'expropriating the expropriators'. 

I was amazed when at the Interdistrict Conference the party 
programme was arrived at: Trotsky repeated Lenin, He took 
Lenin's draft as a basis and introduced a few amendments. In- 
comprehensible ! It's true that Trotsky, Lunacharsky, and 
Uritsky were not economists. But they were highly educated and 
the most advanced Socialists in Europe. Why wasn't it clear to 
them that Socialism is primarily an economic system and that 
without a strictly worked out programme of economic enter- 
prises nothing could come of a dictatorship of the proletariat? 
It was precisely from their point of view that a party programme 
must necessarily contain a detailed, purely practical, and con- 
crete schedule of economic reforms. For their programme was 
the programme of the liquidation of capitalism. 

Let us grant that at a mass-meeting this disregard of real 
economic tasks was tolerable. But here, when dispositions were 
being elaborated for the guidance of the revolutionary staff 
itself? I, a guest, a member of another party, was itching to ask 
for the floor at least to put some puzzled questions. And they 
might have given it: there were no theoreticians present, and the 
discussion was lackadaisical. Nevertheless it was out of place for 
me to speak, and I didn't like to ask. Lenin and Trotsky, by the 
way, were here disregarding just those urgent problems they 
were to come up against a few months later when they were the 
Government. But the political system that absorbed all their 
attention wasn't the slightest use to them then. They at once 
abandoned all their constructions in this field. 

I had to leave : some Commission or other was to meet in the 
Tauride Palace, I went out into the street alone with strange 
feelings, honestly not understanding how people's minds 
worked. Tired by my earlier walk, I plodded off to the distant 
palace of the revolution. 

The first Coalition against the revolution, not waiting to be 
swept away by an explosion of popular wrath, broke up as a 


result of internal crisis. It had survived exactly as long as the 
first Guchkov-Miliukov Cabinet. 

It goes without saying that there was only one sensible solu- 
tion of the problem of power, the establishment of a dictator- 
ship of the democracy. In place of the Coalition of the big and 
petty bourgeoisie against the proletariat and the revolution 
there must be created a new coalition : a coalition of the Soviet 
parties, the proletariat, and the peasantry against capital and 
imperialism. There was no other solution. But this solution could 
be arrived at only by a united front, by the united will of the 

All power had long been in its hands. The dictatorship of the 
Soviet democracy could have been established -formally by 
the simple proclamation of a Government of the Soviet bloc. 
The overturn could have been consummated with complete 
ease, without shedding a drop of blood. And the dictatorship of 
the democracy would have been created as a fact simply by the 
realization of the effective power and the accomplishment of 
the programme of peace, bread, and land. Here the road seemed 
smooth, but only if the Soviet came out for the overturn. 

In any case the question was now posed in all its scope by 
the internal collapse of the Coalition. But at this point, on 
Sunday July 2nd, while I walked slowly to the Tauride Palace 
from the Interdistrict Conference nothing was known about 
this. It was not until late that evening that the rumour that the 
Cadets had left the Coalition Government began to get all 
over the city by 'phone. 

Now, as before, the city was saturated with other rumours 
about various 'demonstrations' by the Bolsheviks, the workers, 
and the regiments against the Government and the Soviet. 
The capital was seething. The slogan of the turbulent masses 
was also C A11 Power to the Soviets 5 . It might have seemed that 
events were hitting the same target from various directions. 
It might have seemed that the movement of the masses, express- 
ing the 'public opinion' of the worker-soldier capital, would 
serve as a favourable factor for the correct solution of the 
problem of power. But this wasn't so. 

The elements were rising without restraint or reason. And 
those who led them, by continually proclaiming these same 
slogans of Soviet power, radically undermined the possibility of a 


correct solution of the crisis. For they were known to be acting 
against their own slogans, against the Soviet, and not in a 
united Soviet front against the bourgeoisie. Their aim was to 
hand the power not to the Soviet, in the form of a bloc of Soviet 
parties, but to an 'active minority' in the form of the Bolshevik 
Party alone. 

In such conditions the movement of the Petersburg 'depths' 
infinitely confused the situation. Now the mounting tide of 
popular passion could not serve the revolution as it had in the 
April Days. Then the Soviet had ruled the elements; now they 
had gone beyond any obedience. If anyone still retained some 
little power over them, it was the Bolsheviks, who were mixing 
up all the cards and in the name of the Soviet directing the 
elements against it. 

But the power of the Bolsheviks over the elements was not 
great. In the heart of the capital, still invisible to the outsider's 
eye, the tempest was raging irresistibly. Tens and hundreds of 
thousands of workers were really plunging towards an inevitable 
outbreak; it was impossible to hold them back. This outbreak 
threatened to be fatal. That was just how I estimated it at that 
time, in view of all the circumstances, and that is just how I 
estimate it now, three years later, looking at its consequences 
sub specie aeternitatis. 

But then as well as now, independently of political results, it 
was impossible to look on this stupendous movement of the 
masses with anything but enthusiasm. Even if you thought it 
fatal you could only rejoice in its gigantic elemental sweep. 

Tens and hundreds of thousands of proletarian hearts 
veritably burned with passion, hatred, and love combined, and 
with yearning for some vast and intangible exploit. They were 
rushing to sweep away all obstacles with their own hands, crush 
all enemies and build a new destiny then and there. But how? 
Just what destiny? This the elements did not know. But they 
surged out, all aflame; they had to come out. Such was the 
decree of the historical destiny that ruled the elements. It was a 
magnificent spectacle; only blind men could fail to sense its 

And what came of it all? An 'episode' heavy with conse- 
quences, that will go down in history as the July Days. 



Monday ', July yd. The next day I went to the Tauride Palace 
in the morning. In spite of the comparatively early hour I found 
a great deal of excitement. In the Ex. Com.'s rooms there were 
almost as many people as during the whole summer. There was 
no session, but Mameluke and Opposition groups seemed to 
have shaken off their torpor and were conferring excitedly here 
and there. 

Amongst these groups I also noticed the members of my own 
fraction, the Menshevik-Internationalists, headed by Martov. 
They had already had time to arrange an impromptu session 
and even to pass an important political resolution. 

Martov, having learned the night before that the Cadets had 
left the Coalition, had drawn it up beforehand. The resolution 
stated that it was imperative to create immediately a purely democratic 
Government, made up solely of * 'Soviet* parties. 

It was only now, after the 'spontaneous' collapse of the Coali- 
tion, that the Menshevik-Internationalists had decided to say 
this. It was only now, a month after the opening of the All- 
Russian Congress of Soviets, that Martov thought it possible to 
authorize this slogan for his group. He was not too late con- 
trary to his habit only because from that day on events took a 
very special turn. 

This was the day when the famous July week began. The 
story is not only very important and interesting, but very com- 
plicated, and also very obscure and confused. As usual I shall 
not assume the slightest obligation to disentangle it; I shall write 
it down as I personally recall it. 

I think it was announced that morning that a session of the 
Central Ex. Com. was to be held that afternoon, when the 
Socialist Ministers had finished their business in the Marian 
Palace and the Star Chamber. It was said that the Star Cham- 
ber already had a plan ready for settling the crisis. 

The Coalition Cabinet had collapsed through internal 
bankruptcy. The 'living forces of the country 3 in the person of the 


entire organized bourgeoisie embodied in the Cadet Party, had 
now left the revolution formally, officially, and openly for the 
camp of its enemies. But our revolution, after all, was 'bourgeois*. 
This the Star Chamber knew very well, and that was all it knew, 
Its special logic pushed these deep thinkers to the conclusion 
that the bourgeoisie must be in power. And the only plan the 
Star Chamber could have was this : if there was no Coalition, it 
would have to be invented. If the Cabinet of May 5th had now 
crumbled, a new one must be concocted in its likeness. If the 
real, the organized bourgeoisie had gone, leaving in the Cabinet 
only a few individuals representing no one but themselves, then 
at all costs substitutes for it must be found, deceiving the 
country, the democracy, the plutocracy, and oneself. 

But it wasn't so easy to do all this: the desired Capitalist 
Ministers were not to be picked up in the street. Meanwhile it 
was impossible to prolong the interregnum in the stormy 
atmosphere prevailing. The masses might take a hand; the 
Opposition might take advantage of the interregnum, and who 
knew what that might threaten the principle of the Coalition 

It was impossible to leave the situation vague. And this is 
what the wily Tsereteli had thought up. 

The decision of the question of the Government was to be 
declared outside the jurisdiction of the available personnel of 
the Central Ex. Com., when a whole third of the members 
elected by the Congress were in the provinces. Loyalty, conr 
stitutionality and democratic principles demanded that the 
question of the future composition of the Government and pf 
the replacement of the members who had left should be decided 
by a plenum of the Central Ex. Com. A plenary session could be 
arranged in two or three weeks; meanwhile the Star Chamber 
proposed not to replace the missing Cadet Ministers at all, but 
to appoint in their places suitable heads of departments for 
'organic' work while the political Cabinet would be left at its 
present strength, of eleven Ministers (with a 'Socialist' majority 
of one!). 

Rumours of this plan had spread throughout the Tauride 
Palace and the delegates were hotly discussing it. The Opposi- 
tion was filled with rage and contempt, and indeed the 'plan' 
merited rage and contempt. It was, of course, a ruse, and 


predetermined a new Coalition just as surely as two and two make 
four. Objectively, to be sure, the question would be decided 
with the most intimate participation of the masses of the people, 
but, while it knew that those forces existed, the Star Chamber 
did not believe in them, and within the confines of parliamentary 
Soviet machinations its game was almost unbeatable. 

The whole difficulty consisted in the one fact that there were 
waverers among the majority under the influence of the 
enormous movement of the rank and file; especially among the 
ignorant Rightist masses of the Peasant Ex. Com,, very many 
could not understand why they should strive for a bourgeois 
regime; not having mastered the 'Marxist' theories of Dan and 
Tsereteli they were not at all averse from taking the whole 
power into their own peasant hands and personally unleashing 
anarchy. After all, it was obvious that the bourgeois government 
would not give the peasants land without payment; nothing had 
been accomplished in the agrarian question except sabotage. 
It wouldn't be at all a bad idea to seize all the power, in order to 
seize all the land. Then the peasants would start to establish 
exemplary order themselves, to squeeze the Kaiser's partisans, 
put a stop to the unreasonable demands of the workers and 
beat up the Yids. 

This was how many of the 'ignorant masses* who had over- 
run the central Soviet bodies thought and spoke. Speaking 
generally, these little SR peasants constituted the most reliable 
foundation of the Star Chamber. But specifically, in this matter of 
the composition of the Government, the 'Marxist' leaders had to 
be very careful with them. The whole difficulty for the Star 
Chamber lay in the mood of these little peasants and the 
waverings of the more Left elements of the Soviet majority. 

Nevertheless the Star Chamber's game was almost un- 
beatable. In the two or three weeks before the plenum met they 
could do their best to convince the waverers (Right and Left). 
During this interval they could rout out some sort of Capitalist 
Ministers and present the plenum with an accomplished 

The Star Chamber appeared around 2 o'clock, when the 
small former Ex. Com. room was quite full. Members of the 


peasant Central Ex. Com. were also present some looking like 
professors, some like seminarists, and some like shopkeepers. In 
all there were about 200 people present. The hall, buzzing like a 
beehive, had long since forgotten such a bustle. 

Tsereteli of course took the floor. He made a short report 
which included all the known facts and, at the end, the plan 
described above. I immediately rose on a point of order: Tsere- 
teli, by uniting two questions with nothing in common, wanted 
to push one through with the help of the other; these two 
questions should be decided separately. But I don't know the 
fate of the point of order in the debates that it started. Un- 
fortunately for a reason which had nothing to do with the 
political crisis I had to leave the meeting for about an hour. 

I needed a car for that hour and painfully tearing myself away 
from the soit dit 'historic' meeting, excited by the great day 
and the new events of the revolution, I feverishly bustled about 
after one, so as not to be late for my business and to return as 
quickly as possible. Hurrying through the'next room, which was 
empty, I heard a ring from the telephone booth. I hurriedly 
picked up the receiver. 

'Is that the Ex. Com.?' said a voice, obviously a worker's. 
'Call some member of the Ex. Com. Hurry up; it's urgent!' 

'What's the matter? Quick! This is a member of the Ex. 
Com. speaking,' 

'This is the Promyot Factory. A few workers and soldiers have 
just come in here, and they say that all the factories and regiments 
have already demonstrated against the Provisional Govern- 
ment, and others are demonstrating now. They say ours is the 
only factory that isn't demonstrating. In the Factory Com- 
mittee we don't know what to do. Tell us, what are the Ex. 
Com.'s instructions? Should we go and demonstrate or detain 
these people as provocateurs'?' 

I answered: 'The Ex. Com. is unconditionally against the 
demonstration. Anyone telling people to go out into the street is 
acting on his own initiative, against the Soviet. The Ex. Com. 
has no knowledge of any demonstrations by factories or regi- 
ments. It's probably not true. The people who have come to you 
talking about other factories and regiments are simply trying to 
get you out into the street. Don't go anywhere till the Ex. Com. 
orders you. Don't try to keep those people there, but be sure to 


try and find out who they are and who sent them. Tell them and 
the factory that the Ex. Com. is In session right now debating 
just this question of the new Government and the transfer of all 
power to the Soviet. Ring back again later. 5 

I thought it essential to hurry back to the Ex. Com. for a 
moment and tell them about this conversation. I don't recall 
whether I succeeded, but at the meeting I found the whole 
picture changed. The political discussion had been suspended. 
In my absence Information had been received that the ist 
Machine-Gun Regiment had already come out into the street 
and was now making its way towards no one knew where. In a 
flash the whole appearance of the meeting had changed. Most 
of the faces showed anger, irritation, and boredom: this was 
the old atmosphere of 'demonstrations' which had become 
quite customary during the preceding weeks, and which was 
supposed to have been changed by 'high policy' but was now so 
inopportunely renewed. 

The Ex. Com. knew by rote what it had to do, and was 
already behaving by rote : it decided to send someone at once 
to intercept the Machine-Gun Regiment and persuade it to go 
back. But the question was, whom to send? Though I was late and 
agitated, nevertheless for a few minutes I watched the meeting 
lackadaisically talking things over, choosing between candidates. 

Who, indeed, should be sent? Representatives of the Soviet 
majority, partisans, or members of the Star Chamber? But they 
were not in the least likely to persuade anybody. No one would 
listen to them, and perhaps they might be arrested. Even they 
themselves realized this. The Bolsheviks of course would have 
been persuasive. But it was impossible to send them they 
couldn't be trusted: God knew where Kamenev or Shlyapnikov 
would lead the intercepted regiment to the barracks or to the 
Marian Palace? 

No candidate was found and nobody was sent while I was 
there. The atmosphere of demonstrations had become habitual. 
The minds of the leaden 'authorities' were turning over slowly 
and heavily. I left, and during my mad rush in the car thoughts 
were dancing about in my head, one interrupting the other, 
about the political crisis and the demonstration that had begun. 
Great events were beginning! 


My recollections of that day begin again at about 6 or 7 
in the evening. At 7 o'clock a meeting of the Workers' 
Section of the Soviet began in the White Hall. The over- 
whelming majority was Bolshevik. Was this meeting connected 
with the movement that had begun, and what, in general, was 
the Bolshevik Party's relation to it? I don't know for certain. 
According to all the data, the Bolshevik Central Committee did 
not organize a demonstration for July 3rd unlike what had 
happened on June gth. I know that the temper of the masses was 
considered somewhat 'worse*, a little softer, less well-defined, 
than three weeks before. It was somewhat dejected by the fiasco 
of the gth and by the official Soviet demonstration of the i8th. 
An uprising, of course, was considered inevitable, for the 
capital was seething and the general situation was unendurable. 
The Bolsheviks were getting ready for it technically and 
politically. But it was clear that they had not scheduled it for 
July 3rd. And the Bolsheviks in the Soviet, after meeting during 
the day, agreed to go to the factories and barracks to agitate 
against the demonstration. 

From various outskirts of the city, beginning with the Vyborg 
Side, masses of workers and soldiers were moving towards the 
centre. The workers had left their benches in thousands and 
tens of thousands. The soldiers were coming out armed. Both 
had banners bearing the slogans that had predominated on the 
1 8th: 'Down with the Ten Capitalist Ministers!' 'All Power to 
the Soviets!' 

It was reported that some workers' detachments and two 
regiments, the ist Machine-Gunners and the Grenadiers, were 
approaching the Tauride Palace. An enormous agitation began 
in the hall. The aisles and the seats for the public, empty 
up to then, as at ordinary sessions, suddenly filled up with 
people. Kamenev suddenly leaped up on to the speaker's plat- 
form. And this indecisive Right Bolshevik was the first to give 
official sanction to the uprising. 

'We never called for a demonstration/ he cried out, 'but the 
popular masses themselves have come out into the streets, to 
show their will. And once the masses have come out our place is 
with them. Our task now is to give the movement an organized 
character. The Workers' Section must here and now elect a 
special body, a Commission of twenty-five people to control the 


movement. The others should go to their own districts and join 
their detachments.' There was no doubt that Kamenev's 
resolution would be accepted. Whether on his own initiative or 
according to instructions received, Kamenev was far from 
trying to isolate the Bolsheviks as the instigators of the uprising; 
as always, he acted conciliatorily. But I cannot find in my 
memory the slightest trace of any activities during the July 
Days of the newly-elected 'Commission 5 . 

Meanwhile the movement was already pouring through the 
city. The tempest was unleashed. Everywhere in the factories 
the same thing as had been reported by the Promyot worker on 
the 'phone was going on: workers' and soldiers' delegations 
would turn up, refer to 'all the others', and demand in someone's 
name that they 'come out'. Only a minority, of course, demon- 
strated, but everywhere work was abandoned. Trains ceased to 
leave from the Finland Station. In the barracks short mass- 
meetings took place, and then from all sides enormous detach- 
ments of armed soldiers made their way towards the centre 
some of them to the Tauride Palace. Some started shooting into 
the air: the rifles went off by themselves. 

From early evening, lorries and cars began to rush about the 
city. In them were civilians and soldiers with rifles at the trail 
and with frightened-fierce faces. Where they came hurtling from 
and why no one knew. 

The city fairly quickly took on the look of the last days of 
February. Since then four months of revolution and liberty had 
passed. The garrison of the capital, and even more the pro- 
letariat, were now strongly organized. But the movement 
appeared to have no more 'consciousness', discipline, or order. 
Elemental/orces raged. 

One of the insurgent regiments, led by a Bolshevik lieutenant, 
was moving along the Nevsky, from the Sadovoy towards the 
Liteiny. It was an imposing armed force. It was probably 
enough to hold the city unless it came up against a similar 
armed force. The head of the regiment had started to turn into 
the Liteiny, when some shots were heard from Znamensky 
Square. The commander of the column, who was riding in a 
car, turned around and saw the heels of the soldiers, running off 


In all directions. A few seconds later the car was left alone in the 
middle of a jeering crowd on the Nevsky Prospect. There were 
no casualties. . . I was told all this by the commander himself 
now a well-known Bolshevik military leader. Something similar 
was going on at this time at various points of the capital. 

The insurgent army didn't know where it should go, or why. 
It had nothing but a 'mood'. This wasn't enough. The soldiers 
led by the Bolsheviks, in spite of the complete absence of any 
real resistance, showed themselves to be really worthless fighting 
material. But not only Bolsheviks led the soldiers' groups that 
'came out' on July 3rd: unquestionably there were also some 
completely obscure elements present. 

The 'over-forties' also came out: that day their representatives 
had again seen Kerensky and again pleaded to be allowed to go 
home to work on the land. But Kerensky refused: after all, the 
offensive against the insolent enemy still continued, for the 
glory of the gallant Allies. So the 'over-forties' gladly joined the 
'uprising' and in enormous numbers for some reason moved on 
to the Tauride Palace. 

We hurried out of the meeting of the Workers' Section, 
through the crowd that filled the Catherine Hall and the ante- 
chamber of the palace, into the rooms of the Central Ex. Com. 
But there was no meeting, simply disorder, excitement, and in- 
coherence. No Bolshevik leaders were there: after the meeting 
of the Workers' Section they had hurried off to their own party 

Crowds kept coming to the Tauride Palace until late at 
night. But they looked 'disorganized'. They were capable of 
excesses, but not of revolutionary action, conscious and purpose- 
ful. They plainly did not know why they were in that particular 
place. And because they had nothing to do they called for 
speakers members of the Soviet. The speakers went out to 
them. Chkheidze tried to persuade them to disperse, referring to 
the forthcoming meeting of the Central Ex. Com., but he was 
unsuccessful and was interrupted more than once by hostile 
shouts. The crowd was in a nasty mood. Voices were heard: 
'Arrest the Ex. Com., they've surrendered to the landlords and 
the bourgeoisie!' 


But there was no one to do any arresting, nor any reason for 
it. They were saying in the crowd that the Provisional Govern- 
ment had already been arrested. But nothing of the sort had 
taken place. More than that, evidently nothing of the sort had 
been intended for that day. 

The remnants of the Government, with the 'Socialist 5 majority, 
were having a meeting in the undefended apartments of Prince 
Lvov. Any group of ten or twelve people that wanted to could 
have arrested the Government. But this wasn't done. The sole 
attempt at it was completely futile. 

Around 10 o'clock a motor-car with a machine-gun and ten 
armed men dashed up to the Premier's house, where they asked 
the hall-porter to hand over the Ministers. Tsereteli was sum- 
moned to negotiate with them, but before he got to the entrance 
the men in the armed motor-car had vanished, contenting 
themselves with taking Tsereteli's own car with them. It was 
obvious that this was a completely 'private enterprise'. But 
through all the July Days there were no other attacks on the 
Capitalist Ministers. 

In general, contrary to what had been expected on June loth, 
the Marian Palace, where the Provisional Government was 
supposed to be, had not proved to be at all a centre of attraction 
for the demonstrating masses. It was in fact to the Tauride the 
residency of the central Soviet bodies that they were attracted. 
And it was precisely against these, as we see, that their ire was 

Around the same time some speakers of the Soviet Opposition, 
proclaiming the transfer of power to the Soviet, also came out to 
the square of the Tauride Palace. These met with a completely 
different reaction especially Trotsky, whose speech aroused 
vociferous enthusiasm. But with the darkness the crowd thinned 
out a great deal. The detachments melted away, scattered, and 
went off somewhere. There were fewer people in the halls of the 
Palace too. The 'uprising' seemed to be coming to an end. 

Around midnight some faces from the Star Chamber finally 
became visible in the Tauride Palace. They had a very trium- 
phant and rather provocative air: they must have been going to 
propose something special, which in fact they did. 


The halls were fairly empty. At a few points some soldiers, 
standing or lying down, were grouped around stacks of rifles 
like patrols. And the representatives of the regiments of the 
capital, loyal to the Soviet majority and without the least 
authority over the masses, were wandering about with nothing 
to do, having been summoned by telephone messages. , . 

The deputies were beginning to be summoned into the White 
Hall, when news came about a brawl and the first casualties on 
the Nevsky, around the Town Council. The Council session, 
where Lunacharsky, among others, had also spent the evening, 
had just finished. When the Town Councillors went into the 
street they encountered volleys of machine-gun fire going on 
without rhyme or reason between two groups of armed people 
who had taken each other for enemies. Just then some motor- 
cars with machine-guns also passed by. This was enough to 
produce panicky and random firing. Some wounded were 
brought into the Town Council. These, of course, were not part 
of the 'demonstration'. The Town Councillors went back to 
the meeting-hall and hurriedly got out an appeal to refrain 
from further bloodshed. The total number of casualties was 

The joint session of the Central Ex. Com. probably opened 
around one in the morning. The White Hall had a look unusual 
in the revolution: it was not full. About 300 deputies occupied 
at most half the seats, while the remaining chairs were not taken 
up by the crowd. No crowds were standing about the corridors 
or clustering around the platform, nor was there a soul in the 
galleries. Exceptional measures had been taken to keep the 
session really closed. It was sedate, as in the good old Duma. 
And it was quiet. 

There was a feeling of great tension in the air. The deputies 
were gloomy and taciturn. Everyone was waiting to see what 
surprise the Star Chamber sitting on the platform had thought 
up. Chkheidze, pale and morose, was chairman. He had been 
assigned the presentation of the surprise by the Star Chamber, 
and opened the meeting with something like this: 

'This is an exceptionally serious occasion,' he said, slowly, 
with difficulty and with many pauses. "The Praesidium has 
taken an exceptional decision. We declare that the decisions 
which will be taken at once must be binding on every one. All 


those present must undertake to carry them out. Those who 
refuse to undertake this obligation should leave the meeting- 

Chkheidze stopped. His assignment was evidently limited to 
this. The hall was motionless for some seconds a part waiting 
for something further, a part stunned by surprise. 

But Chkheidze sat down. And from the benches on the 
extreme right, where the Interdistrictites were located, there 
began a movement towards the way out on the left Trotsky, 
Ryazanov, Uritsky, and Yurenev, followed by Steklov. Not 
wishing to undertake such an obligation 'in the dark' they were 
obediently leaving the meeting. The hall was silent. 

To my own surprise, I rushed on to the platform from the top- 
most bench on the left, where I had been sitting with Martov 
and others. Chkheidze failed to stop me. 

'In extraordinary circumstances,' I said, 'you may take any 
extraordinary steps you like. But be aware of what you're pro- 
posing. You, the majority, did not appoint us to our deputies' 
seats. We were sent here by the workers and soldiers. We will 
answer to them for our acts, but you cannot deprive us of our 
rights. You can remove us illegally without our having com- 
mitted any crime. But we will not give you any promises nor 
will we leave the hall voluntarily.' 

My closest comrades were in accord with me, while the 
Praesidium was perplexed and didn't react at all. At that point 
there appeared on the platform the diminutive figure of the 
famous Spiridonova. As a Left SR she had joined the Kamkov 
group as soon as she got back from Siberia. The Peasant Con- 
gress had elected her to its Central Ex. Com. But amongst our- 
selves, in Soviet circles, she was speaking for the first time. I 
didn't even know her by sight and asked who was following me 
on the platform. . . 

In the midst of the stillness and tension Spiridonova cried out 

'Comrades ! A terrible crime is being prepared ! Our Minister- 
leaders are demanding complete obedience from us before 
explaining what is at issue. It's clear that they are going to pro- 
pose a decree against the people. They are preparing to shoot 
down our comrades, the workers and soldiers!' 

The Praesidium group was discomfited. It was plain to every- 


one that the Star Chamber had blundered and that nothing 
would come of its stupid trick. 

In the silence and embarrassment Chkheidze's 'resolution 5 was 
voted on. Hands were raised. Against it there were only twenty- 
one votes ourselves, the Menshevik-Internationalists and the 
Left SRs. According to the resolution and the vote we ought to 
undertake the obligation required of us or leave. But of course 
we didn't do one or the other. We were left in peace as, indeed, 
we were bound to be. The meeting went on. Nothing had come 
of this stupid enterprise. 

When Tsereteli got the floor I went off to look for the Inter- 
districtites who had gone out. They were conferring nearby on 
what they should do. They were already coming to the con- 
clusion that they had left in vain and ought to return to the 
hall. I too urged them to do so, and they really did return 
at once. Trotsky made the following statement in their 

'Chkheidze's resolution is illegal and nullifies the rights of the 
minority. In order to defend the rights of their electors the 
Interdistrictites are returning to the meeting and will appeal to 
the proletarian masses. 3 

The debates were endless. One speaker followed another, all 
saying the same thing either about the crimes of the Bolsheviks 
or about the salvation to be found in the Coalition. The little 
peasants' demanded martial law and similar nonsense. The SR 
intellectuals, finding the setting appropriate, gave vent to their 
patriotic feelings. 

But the meeting, on this 'exceptionally serious occasion', had 
no positive content. 

Meanwhile the sun came up. The hall filled with bright day- 
light. The plenipotentiary organ of the revolutionary demo- 
cracy was wasting its time in idle talk. . . 

Bogdanov came on to the platform with a practical pro- 

The meeting was to be stopped. The worker-soldier section of 
the Central Ex. Com. was to remain in the Palace. All those with 
any capacity at all for speaking in public were to share out the 
factories and barracks at once and leave immediately on their 
missions, before the city woke ^p, in order to persuade 
the workers and soldiers on the spot to refrain from any 


demonstrations. The deputies were to stay in the factories and 
barracks as long as necessary for this purpose. 
And on this the meeting dispersed. 

Pale and hungry, we moved off to the rooms of the Central 
Ex. Com., while the peasants dispersed homewards. 

Aided by two or three people, Bogdanov, with a list of fac- 
tories and barracks, peremptorily 'billeted* the deputies present 
a hundred and a few on factories and troop units. There was 
a furious clatter of typewriters, on which whole packets of 
credentials were being written. Cars were hastily got ready. 
The deputies scattered like shadows. Not only the Opposition, 
but also those faithful to the Coalition showed neither en- 
thusiasm n,or any desire to embark on this doubtful course after a 
sleepless night. 

Bogdanov called out the names two for each point. The 
Interdistrictites declined to go. Gots and myself were sent to the 
Preobrazhensky Regiment. But Gots had disappeared some- 
where. After waiting a quarter of an hour I went alone. The 
battalion I was going to was quartered quite near the Tauride 
Palace, at the corner of the Zakharevsky. I went on foot and 
going out under the colonnade of the porch breathed in the 
fresh air with pleasure. 

It was probably 7 o'clock. A magnificent morning was coming 
up. The square was empty. On my left there loomed up two or 
three armoured cars, with no sign of an attendant. The adjoin- 
ing streets were silent. There was no sign of any uprising or 

Apparently there had been no new shooting during the night. 
The crowds had dispersed and the streets were empty. 

In the Preobrazhensky Regiment I forget which battalion 
my task was not difficult. This regiment was considered re- 
actionary and wasn't on the side of the Bolsheviks. It was likely 
that it wasn't going to demonstrate and would not have demon- 
strated regardless of my intervention. 

Life in the battalion was just beginning. The sleepy soldiers 
were just beginning to wander about the huge courtyard. I 
called out the commander, asked about their mood and what 
"steps' were required. The young officer, although he had stood 


watch all night, was sure of his battalion. He thought there was 
no need for a general meeting and we decided to assemble only 
platoon representatives. Some solid, heavy-set little peasants 
assembled, looking like nothing less than revolutionaries. I 
explained the political situation to them and told them by what 
strange methods the movement had been called forth, how dark 
and obscure its origins were, and what harm it was bound to do. 
I asked that no one go out into the street armed without a 
summons from the Ex. Com. . . . 

The soldiers' representatives listened respectfully: but none of 
this was necessary they were not going anywhere. 

My audience didn't show much interest in politics. The 
attempts of the soldiers to get into conversation with me were 
limited to a few malicious remarks aimed at Lenin and the 
Bolsheviks, and at once I had to switch over to the other front 
go to the defence of Lenin and his friends, as a proletarian party 
that was carrying on a legal and necessary struggle for its 
principles and the interests of the proletariat. The soldiers' 
uncalled-for attacks were an out-and-out repetition of the filthy, 
slanderous phrases in the gutter press about all internationalists 

My task in the Preobrazhensky Regiment was fulfilled. I could 
leave with an easy conscience. . . 

It was 8 o'clock. I didn't want to start a row at Manukhin's, 
and I went to the Old Nevsky to * Comrade Governor' Nikitsky's, 
to rest a couple of hours. Nikitsky wasn't home: he had been at 
the Town Council all night in case of an alarm. But what could 
the Town Council have done about it? 

While dozing off I remembered that during the night the 
party Bolsheviks had not been either at the meeting or in the 
Tauride Palace. 

That night their Central Committee had a stormy and 
feverish debate about what to do. . . In general the situation 
was the same as on the night of June gth. The debates and plans 
were apparently also the same. One way or the other, whether 
started by the party, or spontaneously, or by some unofficial 
party groups the movement had begun and assumed enormous 
dimensions. Should they continue it, by placing themselves at 


the head of the rebellious masses? Or should they capitulate 
again to the conciliationist majority of the Soviet and deprive 
the movement of their sanction? 

This was the first question that confronted the Bolshevik 
Central Committee. 

It was apparently decided contingent on the strength and 
character of the movement. This was a question of fact that is, 
of judgement and calculation. And here the outlook was un- 
certain. First of all, the movement had calmed down during the 
night; the overwhelming majority of the masses had slept 
peacefully and shown no desire for action. Secondly, the move- 
ment had begun in a dubious way; the Bolshevik Party was far from 
controlling it, and God knew who was at the head of a great 
many detachments. Thirdly, the movement had shown quite 
clearly its internal feebleness and rottenness. The uprising had 
no striking power, nor any real fitness for battle. The outlook 
was dubious. Now the chief hope lay in the Kronstadters, whose 
arrival was expected hourly. But in general was it worth taking 
this movement into one's own hands? It is true that at the session 
of the Workers' Section Kamenev had already tied the Bolshevik 
Party to it, but nevertheless it was quite possible to change front 
as on June gth. It was a question, after all, of the following day, 
Tuesday July 4th. 

This was the first question that confronted Lenin and his 
comrades that night. And I think it was the only one that 
demanded an answer. For the second was probably already 
decided. This was the question of where to lead the movement. This 
was not a question of concrete fact but of party position. 
And that had already been determined a month before. We 
recall what it reduced itself to : the movement was beginning as a 
peaceful demonstration, and if it developed adequately it would at a 
favourable conjuncture pass over into the seizure of power by the 
Bolshevik Central Committee, which would rule in the name of the 
Soviet, with the support at the given moment of the majority 
of the Petersburg proletariat and the active army units. This 
question was doubtless decided this way now too : a renewal of 
the debates concerning it was hardly timely now, in the smoke 
of an uprising. 

But how was the first point decided : Whether to take over the 
movement? Speaking concretely this meant: Should they call 


for a continuation of the 'peaceful demonstration 5 in the name of 
the Central Committee of the Party? According to all the 
evidence this point made the Bolshevik leaders go through 
tormenting doubts and vacillations the whole night. 

In the evening the question was decided positively. Correspond- 
ing local orders were given. And a corresponding sheet was pre- 
pared for the first page of Pravda. The Bolsheviks officially and 
definitely put themselves at the head of the uprising. 

But later the mood changed. The lull in the streets and the 
districts, in connexion with the firm course of the Star Chamber, 
inclined the scales to the opposite side. Irresolution came to the 
fore. And in this irresolution the Bolsheviks held back once 
again. The type for the first page of Pravda was not only set up, 
but in the matrix: it had to be cut out of the stereotype machine. 
The Bolsheviks countermanded their summons to a 'peaceful 
demonstration'. They declined to continue the movement and 
stand at its head. . . On July 4th Pravda came out with a 
yawning blank strip on the first page. 

I have been speaking of the Bolsheviks of Lenin's party. But 
the Interdistrictites headed by Trotsky were in the Tauride 
Palace that night. Evidently neither Trotsky nor Lunacharsky 
took part in the wakeful night of the Bolshevik Central Com- 
mittee or shared Lenin's torments. But during the night, I don't 
remember when, I happened to run across Uritsky, one of the 
Interdistrict leaders. I asked whether their group was calling 
for a 'peaceful demonstration' the next day. It may be that 
Uritsky yielded to my somewhat ironic tone, and he answered 
with emphasis and a certain irritation: 

'Yes, we're calling a demonstration tomorrow!' 

Well, everyone to his taste, I thought, dropping off to sleep on 
Nikitsky's bed and turning over in my mind the events of the 
first 'July Day'. 

Tuesday, July ^th. I went out into the street around 1 1 o'clock. 
At the first glance it was obvious that the disorders had begun again. 
Clusters of people were collecting everywhere and arguing 
violently. Half the shops were shut. The trams had not been 
running since 8 o'clock that morning. A tremendous excite- 
ment was felt tinged with anger, but not with anything like 


fanaticism. It was just this that distinguished July 4th from 
February 2 8th in Petersburg's external aspect. They were saying 
something in the groups of people about the Kronstadters. . . I 
hurried to the Tauride Palace. 

The nearer I got the more people there were. Around the 
Palace enormous throngs, but as it were no demonstrations, no 
detachments, no columns, nothing organized. A mass of armed 
soldiers, but split up, solitary, with no command. The square 
was so packed it was hard to pass through. Ugly black armoured 
cars as before towered above the crowds. 

The halls looked exactly the same as in the first days of the 
revolution. But the heat was stifling. The windows were open, 
and armed soldiers were climbing in. With some difficulty I 
forced my way through to the rooms of the Central Ex. Com. 

The open windows looked out into the luxuriant Potemkin 
Garden, and armed soldiers were jostling one another to look in. 
The hall was quite crowded, and very noisy. Lunacharsky, 
whom I hadn't seen all the previous day, was standing at the 
other end arguing violently with someone. He turned abruptly 
away from his companion and hurried to my end of the room. 
He was clearly excited and irritated by the argument. And as 
though continuing it he flung out at me, without saying good 
morning, in the angry tone of a challenge, some naive words of 
justification : 

'I've just brought 20,000 absolutely peaceful people from Kron- 

In my turn I opened my eyes wide. 'Really? You brought 
them? Absolutely peaceful?' 

The Kronstadters were unquestionably the chief trump of 
Lenin's party and the decisive factor in his eyes. Having decided 
the night before to summon the masses to a 'peaceful demonstra- 
tion', the Bolsheviks were of course taking steps to mobilize 
Kronstadt. During the hours of nocturnal wavering, when the 
movement began to die down, Kronstadt became the sole trump 
of those members of the Bolshevik Central Committee who 
sponsored the uprising. . . Then they countermanded the in- 
surrection. But they had evidently not taken the appropriate 
steps with respect to Kronstadt or else one Bolshevik hand 
didn't know what the other was doing. I don't know exactly 
what the facts were. 


But in any case this is what happened: at around 10 o'clock 
in the morning there came up to the Nicholas Embankment, 
where there was a tremendous concentration of people, up- 
wards of forty different ships with Kronstadt sailors, soldiers, 
and workers. According to Lunacharsky some 20,000 of these 
'peaceful people' had landed. They were armed and their bands 
came with them. Landing at the Nicholas Embankment, the 
Kronstadters formed columns and made their way to Kshe- 
sinskaya's house, the Bolshevik headquarters. They evidently 
had no precise strategic plan, and only quite a vague idea of 
where to go or just what to do. They were simply in a mood 
definitely hostile to the Provisional Government and the Soviet 
majority. But the Kronstadters were led by Roshal and Raskol- 
nikov and led to Lenin. 

Once again the chances of a new revolution had risen extra- 
ordinarily high. Lenin must have very much regretted that the 
summons to the Petersburg proletariat and garrison had been 
cancelled as a result of his overnight vacillations. At this point it 
would have been quite possible to lead the movement as far as 
he liked. And it was also quite possible to bring about the desired 
overturn, that is, at least to liquidate the Capitalist Ministers, 
and the Socialist Ministers and their Mamelukes into the 

In any case Lenin must have begun wavering again. And 
when the Kronstadters surrounded Kshesinskaya's house, ex- 
pecting to receive instructions, Lenin made an extremely am- 
biguous speech from the balcony. He didn't demand any con- 
crete action from the impressive force standing in front of him; 
he didn't even call on his audience to continue the street 
demonstrations even though that audience had just proved its 
readiness for battle by the troublesome journey from Kronstadt 
to Petersburg. Lenin merely agitated strongly against the Pro- 
visional Government and against the Social-traitors of the 
Soviet, and called for the defence of the revolution and for 
loyalty to the Bolsheviks. 

According to Lunacharsky, he, Lunacharsky, had been pass- 
ing Kshesinskaya's house at exactly that time. During the 
ovation given Lenin by the Kronstadters, Lenin called him over 
and suggested that he speak to the crowd. Lunacharsky, always 
ablaze with eloquence, didn't wait to be urged and gave a 


speech on roughly the same lines as Lenin's. Then he led the 
Kronstadters towards the centre of the city, in the direction of 
the Tauride Palace. On the way this army was joined by the 
workers of the Trabochny and Baltic Factories. They were in a 
truculent mood. In the columns, headed by bands and sur- 
rounded by the curious, there was some extremely strong 
language directed at the Capitalist Ministers and the Com- 
promisers of the Central Ex. Com. It was clear that Kronstadt 
had come out as one man to save the revolution, bringing 
ammunition and equipment; only the old and the young had 
been left at home. 

But just where they were going or what for, they didn't really 
know. Lunacharsky had said he had 'brought' the Kronstadters* 
But in my opinion they had got stuck somewhere on the Nevsky 
or near the Champ de Mars. I don't think Lunacharsky brought 
them to the Tauride Palace; as far as I remember they only 
appeared there around 5 o'clock in the afternoon. 

The movement was also pouring out again apart from the 
Kronstadters. From the early morning the working-class 
districts were stirring. Around n o'clock a unit of the Vol- 
hynian Regiment 'came out', followed by half the i8oth, the 
whole ist Machine-Gun Regiment and others. Around noon 
firing began at various points of the city not skirmishes or 
fights, but firing: partly into the air, partly at people. There was 
shooting on the Suvorovsky Prospect, Basil Island, the Kamen- 
no-ostrovsky, and especially on the Nevsky near the Sadovoy 
and the Liteiny. As a rule it began with a chance shot; panic 
would follow; rifles began to go off at random. There were dead 
and wounded everywhere. . . 

There was absolutely no sign of any plan in the movement of 
the 'insurrectionaries'. But there could be no question of 
systematically localizing or liquidating the movement. The 
Soviet and Government authorities despatched loyal detach- 
ments of military cadets, Semyonovskys, and Cossacks. They 
paraded and encountered the enemy. But no one dreamed of a 
serious battle. At the first shot both sides panicked and scattered 
helter-skelter. Passers-by of course got the great bulk of the 
bullets. When two columns met each other neither participants 
nor spectators could distinguish where either side was. Perhaps only 
the Kronstadters had a distinctive look. As for the rest it was all 


muddle, spontaneous and irresistible. But the question is, were 
the first shots that started the panic and fighting accidental or 

Small, isolated pogroms began. Because of shots from houses, 
or with them as a pretext, mass-searches were conducted by 
soldiers and sailors. The searches were a pretext for looting. 
Many shops suffered, mainly wine and food shops and tobacco- 
nists. Various groups began to arrest people on the streets at 

Around 4 o'clock, according to rumour, the number of people 
wounded or killed already amounted to hundreds. Dead horses 
lay here and there. 

The Tauride Palace was packed, stifling and full of disorder. 
Some mass-meetings were going on in the Catherine Hall, but 
there were no sessions. 

At 2 o'clock, in the midst of the disorder, a session of the 
Soldiers' Section opened in the White Hall, packed with various 
armed people. I was detained by some business in the Central 
Ex. Com. and wasn't there. Dan reported on the situation and, 
to judge by the newspapers, did so in definitely Rightist tones. 
But there is no doubt that a good half of these old Soviet 
praetorians had a contemptuous and plainly hostile attitude 
towards what Dan said. The movement against the Coalition 
was gathering too much momentum. The only thing that 
helped the Star Chamber was that by the will of fate it was 
directed simultaneously at the Soviets. It was this fact too that 
ought to make the 'rebels' and their Bolshevik inspirers lose their 

The Soldiers' Section dispersed without having taken any 
practical decisions, and the White Hall had to be cleared for a 
joint session of the Worker-Soldier and the Peasant Central 
Ex. Corns. From the city, as before, came news of more and 
more demonstrations, clashes, shootings, people killed. 

I was not at the beginning of the meeting but stayed in the 
rooms of the Central Ex. Com. It was reported that a workers' 
army of 30,000 men was coming out of the Putilov Factory. 
There was talk of two enormous fighting columns with artillery 
and machine-guns on the Nevsky and the Liteiny. The situation 


had become extremely grave; there was no apparent way of 
preventing a possible general pogrom and tremendous blood- 

But suddenly a heavy downpour fell on Petersburg. One 
minute two three, and the 'fighting columns' succumbed. 
Officers who witnessed it told me later that the insurgent 
soldiers ran off as though under fire and filled up all the doors 
and gateways. Rain had routed the insurgent army. The 
demonstrating masses could no longer find their leaders, nor the 
leaders their sub-commanders. The officers said that the army 
could no longer be reorganized and that the last chance for any 
systematic operations had completely vanished after the down- 
pour. But the unruly elements remained. . . 

It was around 5 o'clock. Someone hurried into the Ex. Com. 
rooms and reported that the Kronstadters had come to the 
Palace. Under the leadership of Roshal and Raskolnikov they 
filled all the square and a large part of the Shpalerny. They were 
in an ugly, fighting mood. They were asking for the Socialist 
Ministers, and a whole mass of them was pouring into the 

I went to the meeting-hall. From the windows of the crowded 
corridor looking on to the square I saw an endless multitude 
packing the entire space as far as the eye could reach. Armed 
men were climbing through the open windows. A mass of 
placards and banners with the Bolshevik slogans (of June gth) 
rose above the crowd. As before in the left corner of the square 
the black, ugly masses of armoured cars loomed up. 

I forced my way into the ante-chamber, which was completely 
packed; lines and groups of people, in the midst of the noise and 
clanking of arms, for some reason or other were excitedly push- 
ing back and forth. Suddenly someone tugged at my sleeve. 
Lesha Emelyanova, an old SR friend recently back from prison 
and now on the staff of Izuestiya, stood before me. She was pale 
and trembling violently. 

*Go quickly Chernov's been arrested the Kronstadters 
here in the courtyard! Quickly, quickly. . . They may kill 
him! 9 

I rushed towards the doors. Just then I saw Raskolnikov push- 


ing his way towards the Catherine Hall. I seized him by the 
arm and pulled him back with me, explaining on the way what 
the trouble was : if Raskolnikov couldn't pacify the Kronstadters, 
who could? But it wasn't easy to get out: there was a crush in 
the porch. Raskolnikov followed me obediently, but answered 
me ambiguously. I was perplexed and began to lose my temper. 
We had already pushed through to the steps when Trotsky, 
shouldering aside the crowd, overtook us. He was also hurrying 
to Chernov's rescue. 

It seemed that this was what had happened. When the 
Central Ex. Com. was told that the Kronstadters were demand- 
ing the Socialist Ministers, the Praesidium sent Chernov out to 
them. No sooner had he appeared at the top of the steps of the 
entry- way that the Kronstadters became very aggressive; shouts 
arose from the armed crowd of many thousands: 'Search him! 
See whether he's armed!' 

'In that case I won't speak/ Chernov declared, and started 
back into the Palace. 

Then the crowd got relatively calm. Chernov made a short 
speech about the Government crisis, sharply condemning the 
Cadets who had left the Government. The speech was inter- 
rupted by shouts of a Bolshevik character. And towards the end 
some enterprising person in the crowd demanded that the 
Socialist Ministers at once declare the land national property, 

There arose a frantic din. The crowd, brandishing its 
weapons, began to surge forward. A group of people tried to get 
Chernov inside the Palace, but strong hands seized him and put 
him in an open car standing close to the steps at the right of the 
porch. Chernov was declared under arrest as a hostage. 

A group of workers immediately rushed off to report all this 
to the Central Ex. Com.; bursting into the White Hall they 
produced a panic by shouting out: 'Comrade Chernov has been 
arrested by the mob ! They're tearing him to pieces right now ! 
To the rescue! Everyone out into the street!' 

Chkheidze, restoring order with difficulty, proposed that 
Kamenev, Martov, Lunacharsky, and Trotsky should hasten to 
rescue Chernov. I don't know where the others were, but 
Trotsky got there in time. 

Raskolnikov and I had stopped on the top step near the right 


side of the porch when Trotsky, two steps below us, climbed 
up on the bonnet of a car. The mob was in turmoil as far as the 
eye could reach. Around the motor-car a number of sailors with 
rather savage faces were particularly violent. Chernov, who 
had plainly lost all presence of mind, was in the back seat. 

All Kronstadt knew Trotsky and, one would have thought, 
trusted him. But he began to speak and the crowd did not sub- 
side. If a shot had been fired nearby at that moment by way of 
provocation, a tremendous slaughter might have occurred, and 
all of us, including perhaps Trotsky, might have been torn to 
shreds. Trotsky, excited and not finding words in this savage 
atmosphere, could barely make the nearest rows listen to him. 
But what was he saying? 

'You hurried over here, Red Kronstadters, as soon as you 
heard the revolution was in danger! Red Kronstadt has once 
again shown itself to be the champion of the proletarian cause. 
Long live Red Kronstadt, the glory and pride of the revolu- 
tion! . . .' 

Nevertheless he was listened to with hostility. When he tried 
to pass on to Chernov himself, the ranks around the car again 
began raging. 

'You've come to declare your will and show the Soviet that 
the working class no longer wants to see the bourgeoisie in 
power. But why hurt your own cause by petty acts of violence 
against casual individuals? Individuals are not worthy of your 
attention. . . Every one of you has demonstrated his devotion to 
the revolution. Every one of you is ready to lay down his life 
for it. I know that. Give me your hand, Comrade ! Your hand, 

Trotsky stretched his hand down to a sailor who was protest- 
ing with especial violence. But the latter firmly refused to re- 
spond, and moved his hand the one which was not holding a 
rifle out of reach. If these were people alien to the revolution 
or outright provocateurs, to them Trotsky was just as bad as 
Chernov, or much worse: they might be waiting only for an 
opportunity to settle accounts with both advocate and defen- 
dant. But I think they were Kronstadt naval ratings who had, 
in their own judgement, accepted Bolshevik ideas. It seemed to 
me that the sailor, who must have heard Trotsky in Kronstadt 
more than once, now had a real feeling that he was a traitor: 


he remembered his previous speeches and was confused. Let 
Chernov go? Then why had he been summoned? 

Not knowing what to do, the Kronstadters released Chernov. 
Trotsky took him by the arm and hurried him off into the 
Palace. But I, remaining on the scene of events, made a row 
with Raskolnikov. 

'Take away your army at once! 5 I demanded. 'You must see 
that the most senseless fights may occur. What can be the 
political objective of their staying here, and of this whole move- 
ment? They have made their will clear enough, and there's 
nothing to be done here by violence ! You know the question of 
the Government is being debated, and everything going on in 
the streets is simply killing the possibility of a favourable 
decision. 5 

Raskolnikov looked at me angrily and mumbled some mono- 
syllables. He obviously didn 5 t know just what more he could do 
at the Tauride Palace with his Kronstadters, but he clearly 
didn't want to take them away. 

I understood quite well what a spontaneous movement was. 
But I completely failed to understand Raskolnikov at that 
moment. He had obviously not finished saying something he 
knew but didn't want to tell me. I failed to understand him 
just because at that time I didn't know the real position of his 
commanders, the Bolshevik Central Committee: I didn't know 
that for at least a month the Bolsheviks had been completely 
prepared (not in words, but in deeds) to take all power into their 
own hands e in favourable conditions'. Raskolnikov had his 

However, though the movement was tremendous, the over- 
turn didn't come off. This reflected the whole futility of vacil- 
lating and half-hearted decisions at critical moments. In view 
of the Chernov incident and Trotsky's speech, Raskolnikov 
could now no longer lead his army straight to the Central Ex. 
Com. and liquidate it. The moment had passed, the mood was 
destroyed, the impulse was confused; the affair might miscarry 
especially in view of the armoured cars looming up to the left. 
Raskolnikov and Roshal, after all, had received only con- 
ditional, not direct, orders. But it was also impossible for the 
crowd of many thousands, who had been fetched to 'save the 
revolution', to stand still and do nothing. The mood might 


easily turn against the Kronstadt generals themselves, as it 
might have turned against Trotsky. 

Irritated by my brush with Raskolnikov, I was on the point 
of climbing up on the bonnet of the same car, even though I 
knew it would do no good. But at that moment Roshal jumped 
up there himself. Lisping like a child, in ingratiating language, 
he extolled the Kronstadters for having performed their 
revolutionary duty and then invited them to go away and rest 
at points shown to them, where the army would be given food 
and shelter. But the gallant Kronstadters must remain on the 
alert: at any moment they might again be needed by the 
revolution and they would be summoned once more. 

I didn't wait for the results. I left for the room where the 
Central Ex. Com. met. 

But I quickly got bored and went out to e the people'. The 
crowd in the Catherine Hall seemed to be getting a little thin- 
ner, but generally speaking there was the same scene of 
crowded, senseless fuss. The square was also emptier: the 
Kronstadters really had vanished somewhere. But there were 
new crowds. . . 

Just then a particularly dense crowd appeared at the left-hand 
gates opening on to the Shpalerny. Columns of soldiers with a 
rather special appearance were entering the square. Dirty and 
dusty, the soldiers, soaked by the rain, had a look of active 
service, with their packs on their backs, their rolled-up great- 
coats slung round their shoulders, their mess-tins and cooking- 
pots. The crowd made way before their dense columns. Taking 
up the whole courtyard of the palace, from one gate to the 
other, the detachment halted and began settling itself in the 
most businesslike way : they stacked their rifles, shook out their 
wet coats, and piled up their belongings. 

This was the I76th Reserve Regiment, the same as I had 
heard a detailed report of two days before at the above-men- 
tioned Interdistrict Conference. This was another Bolshevik 
'insurrectionary 5 army. At the request of the Bolshevik organiza- 
tions, the regiment had marched from Krasnoe Selo to 'defend 
the revolution'. 

Well, and what did this remarkable regiment intend to do? 


And where were the leaders who had called it out for some 
purpose or other? The leaders were invisible. And the regiment 
once again had no idea of what it should do. Doubtless after its 
hard march it would not object to a rest. But nevertheless it 
must have been aware that this was not what it had been sum- 
moned for. No one, however, ordered it to do anything. 

Dan appeared at the door of the palace. It was evidently to 
him that a delegation of the regiment, sent to reconnoitre, had 
spoken. Dan had come out to 'welcome' the regiment. And he 
gave it something to do. The regiment, of its own free will, had 
performed a difficult march to defend the revolution? Splendid. 
The revolution, in the person of the central organ of the Soviet, 
was really in danger. Reliable protection for the Central Ex. 
Com. must be organized. And Dan personally, with the co- 
operation of the officers of the 'insurrectionary' regiment, 
posted some of these mutinous soldiers as sentries at various 
points in the Palace, for the defence of those against whom the 
insurrection was aimed. 

Yes, such things happen in history! But it's hardly likely that 
history of that kind will repeat itself. Dan didn't know what 
sort of a regiment this was and why it had come, and he found 
a use for it. And the regiment didn't know what it was to do 
when it reached its destination, received no other orders, and 
unprotestingly put itself at the service of the enemy. Now it was 
all over: the regiment was scattered, its soldiers' minds were 
hopelessly muddled and it could not be turned back again into a 
fighting force of the uprising. 

This was around 7 o'clock. I went back to the meeting. There 
was nothing new there. Suddenly like an arrow the news sped 
through the meeting: the men from the Putilov Factory had 
come, 30,000 of them, bearing themselves extremely aggres- 
sively; some of them had burst into the Palace looking for 
Tsereteli, who at that moment was not in the hall. They were 
said to have hunted all over the Palace for him without finding 
him. The hall was full of excitement, hubbub and frenzied 
yelling. Just then a crowd of about forty workers, many of them 
armed, burst in tempestuously. The deputies leaped from their 
seats. Some failed to show adequate courage and self-control. 


One of the workers, a classical sans-culotte> in a cap and a short 
blue blouse without a belt, with a rifle in his hand, leaped up on 
to the speakers' platform. He was quivering with excitement and 
rage, stridently shouting out incoherent words and shaking his 

'Comrades! How long must we workers put up with 
treachery? You're all here debating and making deals with the 
bourgeoisie and the landlords. . . You're busy betraying the 
working class. Well, just understand that the working class 
won't put up with it! There are 30,000 of us all told here from 
Putilov. We're going to have our way. All power to the Soviets ! 
We have a firm grip on our rifles ! Your Kerenskys and Tsere- 
telis are not going to fool us!' 

Chkheidze, in front of whose nose the rifle was dancing about, 
showed complete self-control. In answer to the hysterics of the 
sans-ciilotte, pouring out his hungry proletarian soul, the chair- 
man tranquilly leaned down from his height and pushed into 
the worker's quivering hand a manifesto, printed the evening 

'Here, please take this, Comrade, read it. It says here what 
you and your Putilov comrades should do. Please read it 
and don't interrupt our business. Everything necessary is said 

The manifesto said that all those who had gone out into the 
street should go back home, otherwise they would be traitors to 
the revolution. The ruling Soviet clique and Chkheidze could 
think of nothing else to propose to the rank-and-file at a moment 
of extreme tension. 

The baffled sans-culotte, not knowing what else to do, took the 
appeal and then without much difficulty was got off the plat- 
form. His comrades too were quickly 'persuaded' to leave the 
hall. Order was restored and the incident liquidated. . . But to 
this day I can still see that sans-culotte on the platform of the 
White Hall, shaking his rifle in self-oblivion in the faces of the 
hostile leaders of the democracy', trying in torment to express 
the will, the longings, and the fury of the authentic proletarian 
lower depths, who scented treachery but were powerless to fight 
against it. This was one of the finest scenes of the revolution. 
And with Chkheidze's gesture one of the most dramatic. 


The speakers were holding forth again. It was as boring as 
before in the hall : everybody was conscious of the total futility 
of all these polemics. 

It was interesting to watch the mood of the little peasants. 
Like the praetorians of the Soldiers' Section, they were not in 
the least averse from driving the bourgeoisie from power and 
furthering the revolution, that is, strictly, the agrarian revolu- 
tion. All power, after all, had long been in Soviet-peasant hands 
so why be afraid of proclaiming the fact? This is how the little 
peasants talked in intimate corners. But that was only one side 
of the matter. The other was that they were mortally afraid of 
the Bolsheviks and the Internationalists, traitors to the father- 
land, lackeys of the Kaiser, universal destroyers, atheists, who 
talked gibberish about class war and international proletarian 
solidarity. The peasants were peasants, and the more 
substantial they were the more clearly their speech and 
whole appearance showed their old reactionary anti-Semitic 

It was this fear of Bolshevism that the leaders of the Soviet 
majority were playing on. They could not explain their theories 
to the peasants, but it wasn't so difficult to scare them with 
Lenin and anarchy. They clung tight to the Star Chamber 
without understanding its politics in order not to fall into the 
maw of the Bolsheviks. 

I was called away from the meeting to talk to somebody. The 
corridors and rooms had become much less crowded by evening. 
The Putilov workers had soon gone away. On their way to the 
Palace they had been caught in the rain and were wet to the 
skin, and this probably influenced them more strongly than any 
arguments. The great majority of the Kronstadters had also 
gone directly from the Tauride Palace to the Nicholas Embank- 
ment, boarded their ships and gone home. Only two or three 
thousand of them were left, with Raskolnikov and Roshal in 
command; they were somewhere around Kshesinskaya's house 
and the Peter-Paul Fortress. 

Altogether, according to the rumours that reached the c centre 
of the revolution 5 , by evening the streets had quickly grown 
calm. The blood and filth of this senseless day had had a sober- 
ing effect by evening, and evidently evoked a swift reaction. 
Nothing was heard of further 'demonstrations'. The 'uprising' 


had definitely crumbled. There remained only the excesses of a 
wanton mob. There were some 400 killed and wounded. 

Our session still continued. The speeches dragged on. The 
darkness drew on imperceptibly, and in the glass roof in- 
visible little lamps began to burn brightly all round the 

Martov was speaking, as intelligently as usual, and per- 
suasively, but in an 'unrevolutionary' tone, trying to persuade 
the Soviet majority to take power. 

In the endless list of speakers my turn came. I spoke in support 
of Martov, so badly, boringly, and confusedly, that it's painful 
to recall. 

I don't remember that Trotsky spoke, but he was there, sitting 
in a small group with Lunacharsky and some others on the 
extreme upper right benches. This little cluster had been the 
target of savage catcalls and ferocious looks from the rest of 
the hall throughout the day. But now the little group had 
melted away. I saw that Lunacharsky was left alone. Some- 
thing stirred in me, a spirit of protest and solidarity : under the 
spiteful looks of the Mamelukes I went right across the hall 
to Lunacharsky, sat down beside him and began to talk to 

'Why don't you speak? After all, they'll take this for the 
meekness of a schoolboy who has been up to mischief.' 

Tm on the list,' he replied, 'but I don't feel like speaking. 
Do you think I ought to?' 

'Without any doubt.' 

Lunacharsky went over to Chkheidze to see whether his turn 
was coming soon. Only two or three people were before him. 
We sat and waited, idly chatting. 

Suddenly a rifle-shot rang out, very close, and then another. 
Someone yelled out hysterically from the empty galleries some- 
thing about some shootings. The hall was filled with panic and 
hubbub. The little peasants and the intellectuals jumped up 
and dashed wildly about. It was ludicrous and disgusting to see 
the scared 'leaders of the revolution'. 

These shots were all that happened. It was explained later 
that they were accidental : apparently some horses had broken 


loose in the square and caused an alarm in the midst of which a 
few rifles had gone off of their own accord. 

Chkheidze gave the floor to Lunacharsky. He spoke well, as 
he always did, but without conviction or fire. He attributed the 
popular movement to general causes and demanded their 
removal by a decision on the Government question. He looked 
exhausted and dejected. He was evidently beginning to suffer a 
real hangover. 

A break was announced, and everyone made for the garden, 
or filled the buffet and the cool rooms of the Ex. Com. It was 
about 1 1 o'clock. The Tauride Palace looked as it did during 
the first days of the revolution, in the dead of night. Along the 
endless walls of the Catherine Hall and the ante-chamber, 
soldiers slept beside their stacked-up arms. 

There was a crush in the buffet, around the tea and sand- 
wiches. I had squeezed myself into a seat at the table when 
Lunacharsky hurried over to me. Just then I was talking to some 
outsider about the day!$ events. Without sparing either irony or 
merriment, I turned to Lunacharsky: 

'So, Anatol Vasilievich, those 20,000 were completely peace- 
ful people?' 

Lunacharsky turned on his heel and walked away from me. 
More than once that day I had already poked fun a bad habit 
I have at his debut as a regimental commander. But just now 
my joke evidently was out of tune with his mood. I followed him 
and asked what it was all about. 

It was something really sensational. Nothing more nor less 
than that reports had been received about Lenin's connexion 
with the German General Staff. The newspapers had documents 
intended for publication the next day. 

The Praesidium was hurriedly taking steps to prevent it 
before the 'responsible' Soviet spheres considered the matter. 
Tsereteli and others were feverishly conferring on the 'phone 
with Premier Lvov and the newspaper editors. 

It goes without saying that not one of the people really con- 
nected with the revolution doubted for a moment the absurdity 
of these rumours. But my God ! what talk began amongst the 
majority, the hangers-on, and the average ignoramuses from 


town and country. In any case our Star Chamber correctly 
evaluated both the degree of seriousness and the essence of this 
contemptible affair. 

The session reopened. Only three or four regular speakers 
were left. But there were also some emergency ones : to the stormy 
patriotic raptures of the Mamelukes, with their angry glances 
directed at us, there spoke c a representative of the isth Army 5 , 
just rushed in by car from Dvinsk at a summons from the 
Soviet authorities. This was the fairly well-known Right Men- 
shevik Kuchin, who was daring to speak in the name of the 
army. Making an impression by his martial 'trench-like' appear- 
ance, he called the demonstrations, organized against the 
Government and the Soviet itself by irresponsible and sinister 
elements, a stab in the back of the army, which was straining all 
its efforts in the struggle for the freedom of the fatherland. He 
spoke of the readiness of the front to c defend the revolution' by 
all its means, stopping at nothing in order to liquidate the 

Oho ! The front was getting involved ! 

Kuchin's speech was not the only one of its kind. Other 
couriers from some units stationed in the suburbs also spoke 
along the same lines. . . 

Around then someone reported that two or three hours pre- 
viously the Bolshevik Pravda had been destroyed. It was plain 
that the affair was taking an abrupt turn. 

The initiator of the attack on Pravda was the conscientious 
Minister of Justice, Pereverzev. He thought it timely to pick the 
evening of July 4th to give an order for the liberation of the 
printing-shop occupied (I think on my order) by Pravda in the 
first few days of the revolution. 

No sooner said than done. Then and there a detachment had 
been sent to the printing-shop and offices; they arrested every- 
one present, confiscated manuscripts, documents, etc. All this 
was taken to the Staff in a district where the Minister of Justice 
himself resided. He probably did this in connexion with the 
reports at hand of Lenin's having been hired by the German 
General Staff. 

After the legal authorities the mob began lording it on the 


Pravda premises. 'War-wounded' and other Black Hundred 
elements completely destroyed the editorial offices; they tore 
down, smashed, and burnt everything. 

It was plain that things had taken an abrupt turn. 

Numerous arrests were reported to be taking place that night 
throughout the city. From everywhere dozens of all kinds of 
people 'suspected of shooting 5 and of inciting to riot were being 
taken to the same General Staff. Soldiers, workers, and sailors 
especially were being seized on the streets and at home. They 
were interrogated there and sent to different prisons. Weapons 
were being brought in from all sides revolvers, rifles, and 

The session continued. The speakers were already coming to 
an end. Suddenly a noise was heard in the distance. It came 
nearer and nearer. The measured tramping of thousands of feet 
was already clearly audible in the surrounding halls. . . The 
hall again grew agitated. Faces looked anxious, deputies leaped 
from their seats. What was it? Where was this new danger to the 
revolution coming from? 

But Dan appeared on the platform as though out of the 
ground. He was so filled with glee that he tried without success 
to conceal it, at least partially, by assuming a somewhat more 
serene, objective,, and balanced expression. 

'Comrades!' he called out, 'be calm! There is no danger! 
Regiments loyal to the revolution have arrived to defend the 
Central Ex. Com.' 

Just then in the Catherine Hall a powerful Marseillaise 
thundered forth. Enthusiasm in the hall the faces of the 
Mamelukes lit up. Squinting triumphantly at the Left, they 
took hands in an outburst of emotion and standing with bared 
heads ecstatically chanted the Marseillaise. 

6 A classic scene of the beginning of a counter-revolution!' 
Martpv snapped angrily. 

The Left sat there motionless, watching with scornful faces 
the triumph of the victors. 

Certain 'loyal' units had indeed appeared in the Tauride 
Palace I think a battalion of the Izmailovsky Regiment, and 
of course the Semyonovskys and the Preobrazhenskys. As a 


matter of fact this had very little value. At night, when the 
capital was completely tranquil, they could be brought over to 
the Tauride Palace in complete safety 'to defend the revolution 
and protect the Soviet'. We know that these were units as yet 
untouched by Bolshevism, who were against any 'demonstration', 
in spite of the change in mood that was taking place. Bringing 
them over was worth very little. 

But it was also quite useless. The revolution, in the person of 
its 'plenipotentiary organ', was not threatened by anyone at all. 
But in case of real danger, of an attack these regiments would 
doubtless not have endured a single volley. The 'classic scene of 
counter-revolution 3 was not a cause but merely a symptom of the 
radical change in the situation. But facts remained facts. 

The commander of the newly-arrived units mounted the 
platform. The deputies, with sidelong glances at our little 
group, gave him an enthusiastic reception. And he replied with 
a speech about their devotion to the revolution and readiness to 
defend it with their blood. It was a most remarkable speech : it 
reflected all the absurd contradictions and incomparable con- 
fusions in the relationships of this revolutionary period. 

The commander spoke of his loyalty to the Soviet and his 
readiness to defend it with his life : he called the Soviet the sole 
authority to which the army owed obedience. No party centres 
or separate groups! Only the central Soviet organ, which was 
called to decide the fate of the revolution. Not a word about the 
Provisional Government, Lvov, or Tereshchenko, as though 
they had never existed. All power was laid at the feet of the 
Soviet. But did not the 'rebels' insist on this very point? 

What was confusing here was only the form* For in essence the 
'rebels' were demanding a dictatorship of the Soviet which would 
carry out their immutable programme : peace, bread, and land. 
They demanded all power for it, and insisted that it use that 
power as a worker-peasant Government should, while the 
'loyalists' acknowledged the Soviet as a dictator without con- 
ditions; they blindly followed their blind leaders and were ready 
to do (without risk to themselves!) absolutely everything it 

As on the evening before, the Bolsheviks were not present at 
this session. Their leaders again spent the night at their Central 
Committee. This was a very hard night for them. Pravda had 


been destroyed; the slandering of Lenin was taking unheard-of 
forms and the movement for which they had accepted practical 
responsibility was obviously and very ingloriously collapsing. 

That night in their Central Committee the Bolsheviks came to 
the decision fi to end the demonstration, in view of the fact that 
the workers' and soldiers* actions of July 4th and 5th have 
forcefully emphasized the danger in which the country has been 
placed by the disastrous policy of the Provisional Govern- 

So everything was over. The Mamelukes had triumphed. For 
the time being the only thing to do was disperse and go home. 
Through the glass roof the hall had been full of daylight for 
some time. It was about 4 o'clock. 

The courtyard, drenched in the rising sun, was empty and 
calm. The armoured cars were no longer there; they had been 
moved into the garden behind the Palace. Nor were there any 
signs on the streets of the recent tempest. 

I don't remember where I spent the 'night' that morning. 

Wednesday, July th. That day all the Petersburg newspapers 
actually did come out without the material prepared in the 
editorial offices on Lenin's treachery. Only one newspaper dis- 
obeyed Lvov and Tsereteli, so that the material on Lenin 
became public property that day anyhow, and on the next day 
it was reprinted by the whole bourgeois gutter press. 

But just what kind of material had zealots of the truth got 
hold of in connexion with this monstrous affair? And what were 
they called, those patriots who had unmasked Lenin as a 

One was Pankratov, an old inmate of the Schlusselburg 
Fortress, now an SR, known in the '17 revolution for nothing 
more than this; and the other was the Second Duma-ite 
Alexinsky, 1 whose name speaks for itself and with exhaustive 

1 Alexinsky, Grigorii Alexeyevich (1879- ) : an ex-Bolshevik, the most pop- 
ular speaker for the Bolshevik wing of the Social-Democratic fraction in the 
Second Duma and a former collaborator of Lenin's. At the outbreak of the First 
World War he made a sharp turn to the Right, becoming a 'Social-patriot' and even 
working with monarchists. In 1917 he was refused admission into the Soviet, and 
went to extreme lengths in his struggle against the Bolsheviks. He left Russia in 
1918 and became an ideologist of the * White' reaction to Bolshevism. (Ed.) 


fullness characterizes the value of the material a priori. I refer 
to them to show the level of baseness of our liberal press, which 
now began to speak of Lenin's venality as documentarily 

Messrs. Alexinsky and Pankratov were publishing a 
thoroughly 'official 3 document. This was the record of the 
interrogation of a certain Lieut. Yermolenko in Staff Head- 
quarters, dated May i6th, 1917. Yermolenko testified that he 
had been 'transferred 5 by the Germans to our rear in order to 
agitate for an immediate separate peace. He accepted this 
assignment on the insistence of some 'Comrades'. But he was in- 
formed in the German General Staff that such an agitation 
was already being carried on in Russia by other German agents, 
among them Lenin. Lenin had been commissioned to try by all 
his means to 'undermine the confidence of the Russian people in 
the Provisional Government'. Money for agitation and instruc- 
tions were being received from someone in the German Con- 
sulate in Stockholm. . . 

No one knows whether an obscure person by the name of 
Yermolenko, who agreed to become a German agent, ever really 
existed, or whether this kind of document was ever really sent 
to the staff of the Minister of War, Kerensky, from the head of 
the General Staff. It may have been fabricated completely in 
Palace Square, where Black Hundred officers swarmed around 
Kerensky. But helpful hands evidently got hold of this paper 
from there for Alexinsky. He surely had an established reputa- 
tion! He would surely put the paper to the right use! 

And Alexinsky published the document as an incontrovertible 
proof of Lenin's treachery. 

It would seem to have been unusually strange for such a 
'record' to serve as a proof of this kind in the eyes of the 'public'. 
It would seern that any conclusions might be drawn from this 
document except that of the Bolshevik leader's corruption. It 
would seem, in particular, that it added precisely nothing to the 
daily tubs of slander from the gutter press. 

But against the background of the July events, and the frenzied 
malice of bourgeois and Right-Soviet elements, against the 
background of the terrible hangover of the 'insurgents' the 
published document made a quite special and very powerful 
impression. No one wanted to study it in substance. There was a 


document about corruption and that was enough. And for the 
reaction that had begun it served as just such a factor as had the 
senseless bloodshed of the day before. 

No further material at all was published during the days that 
followed. But for the period that was beginning even this 
proved sufficient. No quotations are needed for one to imagine 
the war-dance that began in the bourgeois press, based on the 
proof of Lenin's corruption. The Tsarist Secret Police and real 
agents of the German General Staff were undoubtedly trying 
to play on the July disorders. All sorts of riff-raff in the capital 
were trying to exploit the confusion, muddle, brawls, and shifts 
in mood of the day before. But of course it was the Bolsheviks 
who were unanimously declared to be the culprits for all 
crimes. And on July 5th, the first day of the reaction, the 'big 
press' was filled with a campaign of Bolshevik-baiting. 

That day the Novqya %hizn came out with only a few copies, 
looking very miserable : the printing-shop had been seized the 
night before, and another one had given us refuge. I was dis- 
turbed at not going to the editorial offices for a second day. 
That day I decided to appear without fail. 

This is how that Wednesday reappears to me now, three and a 
half years later: 

There were no trams, but generally speaking the streets had 
gone back to normal. There were almost no crowds or street 
meetings: the shops were almost all open. Now and then 
patrols, led by officers, would be met. In the shops and in the 
streets there was talk of the German money Lenin had received. 
Bitter anger with the Bolsheviks was sharply expressed. 

The Tauride Palace also looked almost ordinary. I think 
the encampment in the Catherine Hall of the evening before 
was gone by around noon. But the armoured cars with their 
crews and guards were still standing in the garden behind the 

There was no session of the committee, but the Bureau was to 
meet. There were lots of deputies in the Central Ex. Com.'s 
rooms, again unoccupied. Some reports came in that armed 
people were again appearing at the factories and demanding 
that work be stopped. Dan insisted that someone at once write 


an appeal to the workers against strikes and new demonstra- 
tions: he, Dan, was too exhausted to write the proclamation 

Someone took it in hand and for about twenty minutes 
plugged away at it. But Dan, without mincing his words, 
declared the result unsuitable and as a last resort insisted that I 
write the appeal, which I did. Dan seized the sheet of paper and 
hurried off with it. I think this was the sole instance during the 
six months of the Coalition in which I collaborated with the 
Soviet majority. 

As before there were no Bolsheviks in the Palace. As far as I 
recall neither Trotsky nor Lunacharsky was visible. The Left 
was weakly represented. . . 

But suddenly there was an outburst of indignation amongst 
the Left wing. It appeared that the summoning of the troops from the 
front for the pacification of Petersburg was an accomplished fact. Some 
'scratch detachment 5 , of unknown composition and leadership, 
was moving on Petersburg. 

We recall Kerensky's solemn declaration that troops were 
moving and would move only from the rear to the front to 
defend the freedom that had been won., and never in the 
opposite direction, against the citizens of a free country. This 
was how these phrases were now being justified. 

In the Bureau an extraordinary commission was of course 
appointed to investigate the events of the preceding days. The 
question of calling out troops to pacify the capital was raised. 

There were only two of us Menshevik-Internationalists in the 
Bureau Martov and I. We fought stubbornly and well. In the 
given situation, when the 'mood' might easily lead at any moment 
to an anti-Bolshevik, and then an anti-Soviet pogrom, there was 
no question but that front-line troops might serve as a factor in 
the insurrection and the source of a blood-bath : after all, we 
knew neither the composition of these troops, their leaders, nor 
their 'mood'. Martov and I demanded that they should be 
stopped and sent back. 

Once more there were no Bolsheviks at the meeting, but 
Zinoviev turned up in the midst of the debates on the troops. 
Without sitting down he went straight to Chkheidze and asked 


for the floor on an emergency matter. He looked wretched, up- 
set and confused, and was plainly in a great hurry. 

'Comrades, a horrible thing has happened. A monstrous 
slander has appeared in the press and is already having its 
effect on the most ignorant and backward strata of the masses. 
There is no need for me to explain to you the meaning of this 
piece of baseness and its possible consequences. This is another 
Dreyfus affair, which Black Hundred elements are trying to 
stage. But its significance is hundreds of times greater. It is 
bound up not only with the interests of our revolution, but also 
with the entire European working-class movement. There is no 
need for me to try to prove that the Central Ex. Com. ought to 
take the most resolute measures to rehabilitate Comrade Lenin 
and suppress all the conceivable results of this slander. I've been 
charged to come here in the name of the Central Committee of 
our party.' 

Zinoviev ended, and without sitting down waited for the 
majority's reaction. Many faces had an ironical look, others 
showed complete indifference. But the answer of the whole 
Central Ex. Com. was already predetermined by the Star 
Chamber's preventive measures of the night before. Chkheidze 
replied that the situation was clear to all present and that all 
measures within the Central Ex. Com.'s power would of course 
be taken without delay. Chkheidze's tone was icy as though he 
were addressing a grown-up schoolboy in disgrace. But there 
was nothing left for Zinoviev to do but express satisfaction at the 
assurances he had received. Then he hurried off; we never saw 
either him or Lenin again in Petersburg until 'October' itself. 

Yet another investigating Commission was formed then and 
there, for Lenin's rehabilitation. I don't know anything about 
its activities. But I recall that two days later there were dis- 
cussions of some other elections to this Commission: the 'incon- 
venience' emerged that its original membership consisted only 
of Jews, five in all including Dan, Lieber, and Gots. The re- 
habilitation of Lenin by a Commission like that could serve only 
as the source of another Black Hundred campaign against the 
whole Soviet for concealing high treason. . . 

However, I don't think there were any new elections, and the 
matter died down of itself. In any case, the Commission under- 
stood that what it had to investigate was not the question of 


whether Lenin had sold Russia, but only the sources of the 
slander. . . There was much talk in those days, amongst other 
things, about the extreme disorder of Pravda's finances; the 
sources of its income in the shape of donations and collections 
could not always be established with precision; and the 
possibility could not be excluded that unknown elements, even 
of German origin, gambling on the Bolsheviks, might palm off 
some sum of money or other on them without their knowledge. 
That was always possible with any party or newspaper in the 
situation of the Bolsheviks and Pravda. A complete rehabilitation 
in this respect too would have been an indispensable result of 
the activities of an investigating commission, but as far as I 
know nothing like it was ever established concerning Lenin and 
his party. 

Meanwhile rumours had begun to come in that the mob, with 
a Black Hundred tendency, was again getting out of hand in 
the city. Certain groups were beginning to seize Bolsheviks in 
the streets. It was said that some had been beaten up. 

Some units from the city and suburbs began to appear in Staff 
Headquarters to place themselves at the disposal of the 'legal 
authorities', and throughout the day these 'legal authorities' 
carried out numerous arrests. Russian gaols, after a pause of 
four months, were again filled with 'politicals'. And Dr. Manu- 
khin, who until now had been treating only Tsarist dignitaries, 
was now enriched by a great many new prison patients from 
amongst the Bolsheviks. 

Alarming news also came in about the Kronstadters. We 
know that most of them had gone off home in their ships the 
night before, but two or three thousand had remained in Peters- 
burg. After hanging about in Trinity Square for a while, around 
Kshesinskaya's house, the Kronstadters, led by Raskolnikov and 
Roshal, decided that it would be a good idea to go to the Peter- 
Paul Fortress. Of course they were not admitted, but without 
much difficulty they occupied the Fortress by force and became 
masters of the situation there. But exactly what was to be done 
with the conquered Fortress, once again neither the army nor its 
leaders had any idea. It was a 'base', just 'in case'. They broke 
into the arsenal, duly armed themselves, and put their weapons 


into readiness for battle. But there was nothing else to do, and 
the Kronstadters spent the night quite peacefully. 

Nevertheless the seizure of a fortress under the leadership of 
Bolshevik fighting commanders was a manifest and very impor- 
tant 'disorder'. The Fortress must be freed. And in the morning 
the Soviet authorities began to busy themselves with this. In the 
name of the Central Ex. Com., General Lieber was sent off to 
retake and pacify the fortress; but he didn't go alone. He found 
Kamenev and asked him to go too, in the firm belief that it 
would be easier for him to talk to Roshal and Raskolnikov. 
Kamenev went with Lieber: his Central Committee, in the 
early morning atmosphere of July 5th, obviously endorsed this 
without any difficulty. 

But getting into the Peter-Paul was not so easy. Although the 
bridges were open, the entire district from the Palace Square to 
the Peter-Paul was held by troops 'loyal to the legitimate 
Government' and to 'order', who wouldn't let anyone go from 
any point to any other without special passes from the Staff. 
This was all very impressive, but I wonder what these 'loyal' 
troops would have said if they had been ordered to take the 
Peter-Paul Fortress. . , 

In any case Kamenev and Lieber had to go to the General 
Staff to get a pass. While Lieber was fussing about there, the 
rumour spread amongst the soldiers that the famous Bolshevik 
Kamenev was in their midst, and they arrested him without 
thinking twice. The sensation filled practically the whole dis- 
trict. They began demanding an immediate investigation and 
trial there was even a danger that both might be dispensed 
with. Lieber rushed to the rescue. But horribile dictu ! he was 
taken for Zinoviev and also arrested; the officers behaved even 
worse than the soldiers. It was with difficulty that the prisoners 
were got into the Staff, where the misunderstanding was cleared 
up. The square held by the 'loyal' troops remained in a state of 
agitation for a long time. Kamenev and Lieber, somehow 
making their way out of the Staff, went off on their mission. 

They arrived at the Peter-Paul Fortress around 3 o'clock. Its 
garrison had already managed to be 'assimilated' by the con- 
querors and, incited by Raskolnikov and Roshal, were not 
averse from showing their readiness for some warlike action. 
Their hearts had simply been set on fire by the fighting speeches 


of their ardent leaders. Nevertheless Kamenev and Lleber were 
able to make an agreement 'honourable to both sides' with the 
garrison. It was achieved at the price of the great disappoint- 
ment of Raskolnikov and Roshal, but without much trouble : 
Kamenev, after all, had brought instructions from the Central 
Committee itself, to the effect that the game must be considered 
irredeemably lost. The Kronstadt leaders declared that the 
sailors, machine-gunners and all the outsiders would leave the * 
Fortress and return the weapons taken from the arsenal. But at 
the same time they demanded that their own arms should 
be left to them, and that they should be guaranteed an un- 
impeded and honourable journey home. The Central Ex. Com. 
delegates made a vague reply to this. But in any case agreement 
to restore order in the Fortress was considered to have been 

Lieber told us all this at this same session of the Bureau, 
arriving at the very end of it. He felt like a hero: he had taken 
the Fortress, pacified the Kronstadters, and at the risk of his life 
saved his bitter enemy from lynching. 

There were reports of more fighting and bloodshed somewhere 
on the Liteiny. And there was no doubt that it had been origin- 
ated by certain fi loyaP units. Lunacharsky had been arrested 
near the Staff. He was detained for about two hours, vouched 
for and released. In general they were now arresting in the 
street anyone who said a word in favour of the Bolsheviks. It 
was no longer possible to say that Lenin was an honest man : 
you'd be arrested. 

Towards evening complete calm had been restored in the 
streets. The weather was wonderful. A huge, gay, bourgeois 
throng poured into the Nevsky. I can't remember at all where I 
spent these hours, but around 1 1 o'clock I went back again to 
the Tauride, which looked just as it had the day before. There 
were not many people in the halls or at the buffet. The win- 
dows were open, but the air was bad; the floor was dirty; there 
was no real order; the recent presence of a crowd of outsiders 
could be felt. The buffet was still selling tea and sandwiches, 
but there were hardly any customers. What was happening in 
the Ex. Com.? 


I went in and saw something quite extraordinary. Lieber was 
sitting at a table in the Chairman's place. He looked like a 
conquering hero, but was trying, with very poor success, to put 
on a dour, stony expression. Bogdanov, tranquil and slow-mov- 
ing as usual, was sitting on Lieber's right, while Anisimov 
could be seen on his left. Further off at the table or on sofas and 
in arm-chairs along the walls, there were a few deputies, who 
were evidently only looking on. A handful of men, huddled 
together, stood facing Lieber. They were Raskolnikov, Roshal, 
two or three sailors, and two or three workers. 

The whole group recalled wolves at bay or, perhaps more 
precisely, rabbits driven into a corner. Raskolnikov, gesticulat- 
ing in his sailor's oilskins, was making an anxious, excited, and 
incoherent speech on their behalf, pleading with the trio sitting 
in front of him: 

'Comrades, after all, you can't you must We can't do 

that, comrades, you must understand Comrades, after all, 

you must make some concessions. . .' 

What I saw in front of me was evidently some kind of un- 
precedented court of justice. The presiding judge, listening to 
his victim, had an immobile, stony expression. He was trying to 
appear inexorable and deaf to entreaties, but his eyes flashed 
with the enjoyment of power, and his lips struggled with a 
triumphant smile. 

c Eh! Lieber is playing Marshal Davout,' I thought, remem- 
bering Pierre's trial in War and Peace. I sat down at the end of the 
table to see what would happen. 

It was a question of the Kronstadters. After giving up the 
weapons taken from the arsenal, some of them had stayed on in 
the Fortress, while others remained in the open not far off, 
waiting to be sent home. But the reaction had grown stronger, 
and the material strength of the Soviet-bourgeois bloc was 
growing hourly. Whatever agreement had been arrived at in the 
afternoon, the 'lawful authorities' were now demanding the dis- 
arming of the Kronstadters. Raskolnikov naturally refused to 
agree to depriving his army of their 'military honour' and was 
begging Lieber and his colleagues to let them take their arms back 
with them. He swore that this would not cause the slightest 
danger to anyone, and that disarming the Kronstadters could 
have no practical result whatever, except their humiliation. 


Only Lieber spoke for the court. He was Implacable. He kept 
saying the same few phrases over and over again : 

*I suggest that you should consent at once and go to your 
army to make them comply with our request. This decision is 
final. There can be no changes or concessions. But in two hours 
it will be too late. In two hours decisive steps will be taken; 
they won't be in your interests.' 

Lieber didn't explain exactly whose decision this was, or what 
had provoked it, or what kind of steps would be taken and by 
whom. This actually was more effective. Let us have mysterious 
hints and frightening words ! Just let these cornered rabbits try 
to argue with us ! 

Raskolnikov and his comrades could not oppose anything to 
this but a plea for forgiveness. It was intolerable to see and hear. 
Neither side, in the given situation, in fact aroused much 
sympathy: all the same, for me one of them was the age-old 
enemy, the other a schoolboy who had made a fool of himself. 

The fruitless, hollow, and tiresome disputes had already lasted 
a quarter of an hour. Suddenly Lieber announced that he had 
that moment received new instructions and could no longer 
give the respite of two hours he had promised before. Now 
Lieber-Davout could only give ten minutes. If at the end of that 
time the response was unsatisfactory, then 'decisive steps' would 
be taken at once. The reaction was attaining its full strength. 

Raskolnikov asked for a pause to consult with his comrades 
who were present. The handful of Kronstadters huddled in a 
corner. I went out to the buffet. . . There I saw a group of 
Bolshevik leaders sitting at a table in the corner, Kamenev, 
Trotsky, and three or four others. I never, either before or 
after, saw them in such a miserable, confused, and dejected 
state. They were evidently not even trying to cheer up. Kame- 
nev was sitting at the table completely overwhelmed. Trotsky 
came over to me: 'Well, what's going on there?' 

I reported the trial in two words. 

'But what do you think should be done? What would you 

I shrugged my shoulders in perplexity. I had not the slightest 
idea what to do. It was impossible to say whether Lieber could 
or couldn't take decisive steps involving bloodshed or the most 
extreme forms of humiliation. But one ought not to go in for 


bloodshed oneself or try to break through by force. Perhaps It 
would be better to surrender and hand over the arms. 

I don't remember that Raskolnikov and Roshal conferred 
with Trotsky and Kamenev during the interval, but when the 
trial was resumed, Raskolnikov, as before, would not give a 
definite answer, but again made incoherent attempts at per- 
suasion. He finished by saying that the Kronstadt leaders would 
go off to their army at once and 'do everything possible 5 . The 
judges rose again. Lleber finally gave up trying to maintain his 
role and broke into a smile. 

Raskolnikov looked round, perplexed, for sympathizers and 
friends amongst us. His glance rested on me; he came over to 
ask a favour of me. He was extremely agitated and afraid of 
being arrested, if not on the spot, then in the street; he had no 
hope of reaching his Kronstadters. It was essential that he 
should be given an escort, or at least reliable documents to 
allow him to make his way freely about the city. They had been 
told that Bolsheviks were being seized and beaten up. And if 
they were recognized. . . 

Those around were amused by the excitement of the youthful 
commanders. No escort was needed; they would get through. 
But they could have passes. They went into the next room, the 
office, which was dimly lit and extremely untidy. Passes were 
typed out. I was stopped by Roshal, whom I hadn't known 
before. Lisping and mumbling like a child, he asked me to look 
after his Browning : if they caught him with a weapon it would 
be worse. 

A fine business indeed ! 

I went off to spend the night at Manukhin's. Lunacharsky 
was already lying on a bed made from some arm-chairs tied 
together, next to my sofa. He was very shaken by all that had 
happened. Lying in the dark we had a long talk. I was irritated, 
and our conversation was not especially agreeable. 

'Well, Nikolai Nikolayevich/ he asked me hesitatingly: 'what 
d'you think? Ought I to leave Petersburg?' 

This made me furious. Leave? Why? What for? Was the 
situation so clear that there was nothing left but flight from the 
field of battle? Had an irresistible terror already begun? Was 
anything serious threatening Bolshevik heads? And if not, 
surely they must unravel the knot they had tied themselves? 


To whom will you leave the masses, whom you have just led 
or dragged along after you? What will they think and feel when 
they see themselves abandoned? Or will you take your masses 
with you as well? 

Lunacharsky made no rejoinder. For a long time we went on 
tossing about on our couches. 

Later I was told that the homeless Kronstadters had wan- 
dered about the whole night, not knowing where to go. Their 
leaders weren't with them. They were the irresolute, un- 
comprehending fragments of an unsuccessful experiment, left to 
the mercy of fate. . . 

Thursday the 6th. From early morning on, troops withdrawn 
from the front were arriving in Petersburg at the Warsaw and 
Nicholas Stations. There arrived a part of the I4th Cavalry 
Division, the lyyth Izborsky Regiment, the I4th Don Cossacks, 
etc. in a word, quite enough to take the capital. They were 
drawn up in Palace Square. They were received there by the 
Socialist Minister Skobelev and someone else from the Star 
Chamber. The triumphant Soviet victors admired their 
Praetorian Guards and made welcoming speeches to them from 
the windows. 

These troops were called a 'scratch detachment 5 , and it was 
quite obvious they were a very rich soil for Black Hundred 
propaganda. If any enterprising groups were on hand to annoy 
this beast, then the blood-bath in Petersburg might turn out to 
be far from a joke. 

Meanwhile, during these days Black Hundred elements 
became very familiar with the whole charm and all the advan- 
tages for the cause of reaction of the 'disorders' and killings. 
And now, upon the liquidation of the revolt, they did every- 
thing they could to prolong and renew the disorders. Looting, 
violence, and shooting continued here and there in the capital 
on Thursday the 6th too. . . There was still no 'pacification'. 
And all the excesses, now aimed at the Left, were inspired 
exclusively by the fragments of Tsarism. 

The Soviet victors could rest content: once again the Coali- 
tion was set on firm foundations. Moreover, it looked as though 
the General Staff might at any time initiate a coup d'etat. 


However transitory, a great counter-revolutionary upheaval was 
nevertheless quite possible. But the Soviet authorities had not 
yet turned their gaze to the Right. 

On the morning of that same day Gots and Avksentiev 1 had 
led a scratch detachment to Kshesinskaya's house and the 
Peter-Paul Fortress. The first point was the citadel of the 
Bolsheviks, and Kronstadters or other pernicious elements might 
still remain in the second. Crossing Trinity Bridge, they were 
about to begin a regular siege, and were ready to open fire 
when it turned out that the Bolsheviks had already abandoned 
Kshesinskaya's house. Bursting into the quiet, empty rooms, the 
soldiers arrested a dozen people who happened to be wandering 
around the rooms, and thus brought the expedition to a vic- 
torious conclusion. As for the Peter-Paul Fortress, there too there 
was nothing to justify the campaign. The Kronstadters had left, 
the garrison had lost its head and 'repented' ; the Fortress was 
'taken 5 without a shot, and order was restored without the 
slightest trouble. 

The Durnovo villa was taken in the same fashion during the 
afternoon. The anarchists had left. A few weapons and a great 
deal of literature were found there. 

The mood of the workers was indefinite. On the one hand 
only half the factories were working; the workers were still 
keeping up their previous positions by a strike. In particular the 
Putilov Factory was idle, and there were even some unimportant 
attempts to come out again into the streets in a demonstration. 
But, on the other hand, depression was taking more and more 
hold of the proletarian masses. Mass-meetings, which passed 
resolutions condemning the 'instigators' of the rebellion, were 
taking place in the factories. The advanced groups .were 
isolated. The Petersburg proletariat was once more scattered 
and unfit for battle. 

It was much worse among the soldiers. These ignorant masses, 
having received a stunning blow, flung themselves headlong into 
the arms of the Black Hundreds. Here all shades of reactionary 
agitation were already bearing rich, ripe fruit. Hundreds and 
thousands of yesterday's 'Bolsheviks' had been swept out of the 

1 Avksentiev, Nikolai Dmitriyevich (1878-1943) : one of the oldest SR leaders. 
Very hostile to the October Revolution, he emigrated in 1919, and continued 
actively fighting the new Soviet regime. (Ed.) 


reach of any Socialist parties whatever. And in the eyes of the 
garrison even the Soviet banner had definitely begun to waver. 
There were mass-meetings in the barracks too, where out-and- 
out pogrom speeches were beginning to be heard. The whole 
force of anger and 'patriotism 5 was of course coming down on 
the Bolsheviks. And the other Socialist elements as well were 
now definitely tacked on to the Bolsheviks. 

As for the petty bourgeois, philistines, and 'intelligentsia' 
there things were really abominable. These strata not only 
deliberately lumped together the Bolsheviks and the whole 
Soviet, but were also prepared to use any and every method of 
struggle against everything Soviet. Here feigned panic and un- 
feigned spite reached their extreme limits. A military dictator- 
ship, perhaps even a restoration, would have been accepted, if 
not with enthusiasm at least without any attempts at resistance. 

The word 'Bolshevik' had already become synonymous with 
scoundrel, murderer, Judas, and anybody else whom it was 
essential to seize, maul, and beat up. And to make it more vivid 
a charming phrase was coined in the twinkling of an eye and 
put into circulation: an 'ideational Bolshevik'. This was the 
unhappy creature who through naivete and obtuseness had 
fallen from decent society into the clutches of a gang of bandits 
and deserved to be treated indulgently. But there were extremely 

few of these. 

* * * 

Around 9 o'clock on the evening of the 6th, Kerensky came 
back from the front and went straight to the session of the 
Provisional Government. At this time a formal decision had 
already been taken to put all instigators of and participants in 
the uprising of July 3rd~4th on trial. But although many 
hundreds of people had been arrested the Bolshevik leaders were 
still at large. . . On his arrival Kerensky immediately dis- 
played great aggressiveness and demanded that decisive 
measures should be taken against the Bolsheviks, especially their 

An order was at once issued for the immediate arrest of Lenin, 
Zinoviev, Kamenev, and others. Besides this an order was drawn 
up and signed by Lvov for the disbanding of all army units 
which had taken part in the revolt and their reassignment at the 
discretion of the Minister of War. 


At about 2 in the morning the militia came to Lenin's flat, but 
it was empty. Lenin, like Zinoviev, had vanished. 

Lenin's disappearance under the threat of arrest and trial is 
noteworthy in itself. No one in the Central Ex. Com. expected 
Lenin to 'get out of the situation' in just this way. His flight 
produced an enormous sensation amongst us and was hotly 
discussed for a long time in every possible aspect. There were 
some Bolsheviks who approved of Lenin's action, but the 
majority of the Soviet people were sharply against it. The 
Mamelukes and the Soviet leaders loudly boomed forth their 
noble indignation. The Opposition kept its opinion to itself. 
But this opinion reduced itself to a definite censure of Lenin 
from a political and moral point of view. And I personally was 
completely in accord. 

I've already said (in connexion with Lunacharsky) that first 
of all in the given circumstances the shepherd's flight could 
not help but be a heavy blow to the sheep. The masses mobilized 
by Lenin, after all, were bearing the whole burden of responsi- 
bility for the July Days. They had no means of ridding them- 
selves of this burden. Some remained in their factories or in their 
districts isolated, slandered, in sick depression and unspeak- 
able confusion of mind. Others were under arrest and awaiting 
retribution for having done their political duty according to 
their feeble lights. And the c real author' abandoned his army and 
his comrades, and sought personal salvation in flight ! 

Why was it necessary? Was he in any real danger? Absurd, in 
the summer of 1917! There could be no question of lynch-law, 
of the death penalty or of hard labour. However biased the 
court, however minimal the guarantees of justice nevertheless 
Lenin risked absolutely nothing but imprisonment. 

Lenin of course may have prized not his life or health, but his 
freedom of political action. But in a prison of the time could he 
have been more hampered than in his underground retreat? 
He could unquestionably have written his fortnightly Pravda 
articles from prison, while from the point of view of the political 
effect the very fact of Lenin's imprisonment would have had an 
enormous positive significance. His flight had only a negative 

The example of Lenin's comrades completely confirms all 
this. Many of them were arrested and put on trial for the same 


crimes. They safely sat out six weeks or two months in prison 
and went on with their writing there. With their martyrs' 
haloes they served as an inexhaustible source of agitation 
against the Government of Kerensky and Tsereteli. And then, 
without the slightest evil consequences for anyone, they re- 
turned to their posts. 

From a political and moral point of view the flight of Lenin 
and Zinoviev, devoid of any practical sense, was reprehensible. 
And I'm not surprised that this example was not followed by 
their own comrades. 

But, as is well known, there was another circumstance that 
heightened the odium of Lenin's flight a thousandfold. For after 
all, besides the accusation of insurrection, a monstrous slander, 
which was believed by hundreds of thousands and millions of 
people, had been directed at Lenin. Lenin was accused of the 
crime, vile and shameful from every point of view, of being in 
the pay of the German General Staff. . . It was impossible 
simply to ignore this. And Lenin had not ignored it; he had sent 
Zinoviev to the Central Ex. Com. to defend his honour and his 
party. This was not at all difficult to do. After a little time had 
passed the nonsensical accusation went up like smoke. Nobody 
had adduced anything in its support and people ceased to 
believe it. There was no longer the slightest risk that any charge 
would be brought on this count. But Lenin went into hiding with 
such a charge hanging over him. 

This was something quite special, unexampled, and in- 
comprehensible. Any other mortal would have demanded an 
investigation and trial even in the most unfavourable con- 
ditions. Any other mortal would personally and publicly have 
done everything possible, as energetically as he could, to re- 
habilitate himself. But Lenin proposed that others, his adver- 
saries, should do this, while he sought safety in flight. 

I consider that the fact of Lenin's disappearance must lie at 
the very root of any description of the personality of the future 
ruler of Russia. In the whole world only he could have behaved 

* # * 

That same night the session of the Provisional Government 
was succeeded by a meeting of the Soviet Star Chamber. 
Towards 2 o'clock in the morning Kerensky arrived at Sko- 


belev's flat, where Tsereteli was living. Dan, Gots, and 
Chkheidze were also there. . . In the presence of the newly- 
arrived Kerensky the Star Chamber revised its judgement of the 
state of affairs. 

The Right was evidently represented by Kerensky (probably 
together with Gots) and the Left by Dan and Chkheidze. The 
Right carried on the line of reaction and repression, the Left 
the line of restraining the repressions. Kerensky insisted on the 
liquidation of the Bolsheviks as a party. Dan insisted on the 
freedom of parties and on the responsibility of individuals. 
Tsereteli was in the centre. The result was that Dan was 
formally on top, but Kerensky was given satisfaction in fact. 

* * * 

Friday the jth. Early in the morning the Menshevik Central 
Committee met. Dan and Tsereteli probably went there straight 
from the session of the Star Chamber. The Menshevik leaders 
were definitely beginning to display an understanding of the 
conjuncture: they continued a line of halting the counter- 
revolution. And by 7 in the morning the Menshevik Central 
Committee had already passed a resolution directed against 
the Right. I can say with assurance that Dan initiated it. 

The Provisional Government, following the lead of the ruling 
Soviet bloc, also met very early, at about 8.30. I don't know 
whether it was a stormy session, but in any case it was 'drama- 
tic 5 : what was in question was forcing the resignation of the 
revolutionary Premier, that visionary intellectual and humane 
landowner, Prince Lvov. 

The campaign had doubtless been prepared the night before, 
at Skobelev's flat. The 'Marxist' section of the ruling group had 
evidently managed to unite the entire Star Chamber. 

Why had the SR part of the Star Chamber agreed to this? 
I think there is only one way to explain it: Kerensky was now 
convinced that it was time for him to become Chief of State. 
And for him concessions to the democracy, however undesirable 
and 'untimely' in themselves, were a means of exerting pressure 
on Lvov which the latter, God willing, would be unable to 
sustain. Thanks to this pressure from the Left, there must be 
new upheavals in the Cabinet, and then Kerensky could not 
fail to get the Premiership. 


I even think it was precisely Kerensky, the SR, who was the 
direct or indirect initiator of the 'Left 5 campaign against Lvov. 
In Kerensky's present mood he was quite unconcerned with 
counter-revolution or the struggle against it. He was interested 
only in bringing about changes in the Government and setting 
up his own Cabinet. For the 'Star Chamber' Menshevik Dan, on 
the contrary, it was necessary to stop the reaction. As for changes 
in the Government, it was, after all, only two days earlier that 
Dan and Tsereteli together had wholeheartedly insisted, before 
the entire revolutionary democracy, on the lack of authority to 
decide these questions until a plenum of the Central Ex. Com. 
could meet, and on the maintenance of the status quo as the last 
word in statesmanship. And now, suddenly, the campaign 
against Lvov! 

In any case, the Star Chamber SRs and the Mensheviks had 
arrived at the same 'platform' from different directions. The first 
wanted changes in the Cabinet, the others a strengthening of the 
Soviet 'line' against the counter-revolution. The result was the 
joint campaign to force the resignation of the head of the 

The session ended at about i o'clock. And it ended with the 
resignation of the first revolutionary 'Premier'. Lvov had an- 
nounced his resignation. Now he had to be replaced. This was 
done without any delay or difficulty. I do not think I am 
mistaken if I say that during the night the Star Chamber had 
not only worked out its campaign but also redistributed the 

Lvov had occupied two posts: Premier and Minister of 
the Interior. Kerensky, while remaining War Minister, was 
'appointed' to the first at once, and Heraklion Tsereteli, 
while remaining Minister of Posts and Telegraphs, to the 

This was at i o'clock in the afternoon. 

At 2 o'clock the Bureau slowly began to assemble in the 
Tauride Palace. But the leaders were not to be seen. The 
deputies dejectedly wandered about, argued lazily, or sat about 
in arm-chairs, hiding behind newspapers. God knew when the 
Praesidium would appear. 

Just then it was reported that one of the units that had come 
from the front had been fired on by machine-guns not far from 


the Nicholas Station. The firing still continued; it could be 
heard from the windows of the Tauride Palace. 

Eh! This was a serious business, and might end badly. This 
monstrous provocation could only be the work of German 
agents to disorganize the Government in Petersburg in the 
interests of an offensive at the front; it might have been carried 
out by the Black Hundreds, the Tsarist servitors who were 
already convinced of the advantages of a street brawl, and who 
could not but be tempted by the possible results of a provocation 
of front-line troops. A direct attack on the pacifiers might really 
be a match thrown into the powder-keg. The pacifying troops 
might shatter working-class Petersburg to smithereens rather 
than entrust some upstart with power over them for five 
minutes. Nor was this an accidental shooting: it was a well- 
organized attack, complete with machine-guns. 

The firing did not begin to die down until evening, and it was 
renewed during the night. The militia reported shooting in 
eleven different districts of Petersburg. 

There is no doubt that on Friday the yth we lived through a 
critical moment. The ordinary people, after all the petty 
bourgeoisie, the 'intelligentsia', and the soldiery were again 
blaming the Bolsheviks for the new bloodshed. The disorders on 
that day did an excellent service to the profound and thorough- 
going reaction. Nevertheless the acuteness of the crisis, and the 
danger of a counter-revolutionary catastrophe, vanished quite 

Around noon an important meeting of garrison representa- 
tives, arranged the night before, took place in the Tauride 
Palace. The delegates of the newly-arrived troops also came. 
The meeting was supposed to reveal the state of mind of the 
garrison of the capital after the July Days. Had the blow it had re- 
ceived really thrown it back into undisguisedly bourgeois hands? 

I don't know just what happened at the meeting, but its 
results proved favourable enough. Both the speeches and the 
resolution showed that the garrison would do its best to keep its 
promise of loyalty to the Soviet. The resolution stated that the 
garrison 'submitted unconditionally to the Central Ex. Com. 
and would unquestioningly obey all its orders'. Even the Mame- 
lukes sighed with relief. 


The Bureau session probably began around 3 o'clock. 

It was, of course, Tsereteli who reported on the situation. I 
shall not undertake to say just how he explained the change of 
front. Doubtless, while announcing the successful liquidation of 
the insurrection, he pointed out the danger of a reaction which 
went too far, and consequently the necessity for resolutely carry- 
ing out the programme of the Ail-Russian Congress, for Lvov's 
resignation, and for the formation of a new Cabinet tem- 
porarily, of course, until a decision could be reached by a 
plenum of the Central Ex. Com. Tsereteli also named the new 
Ministers. I remember his being unable to keep back the em- 
barrassed smile of a schoolboy who has distinguished himself, 
when he said: 'Minister of the Interior Tsereteli. . .' 

Properly speaking, nothing particularly bad had happened in 
reality. But how it had all happened! A tiny handful of people 
had been whirled about by the irresistible caprice of the 
revolution, flung now to one side, then to the other. It was not 
only the masses who had had no part in their machinations, 
but even their 'authorized representatives', who had handed over 
to the Star Chamber all their rights and duties, were obedient, 
silent servants of their masters. This was a sign of the profound 
weakness of the revolution, and the source of a profound 
reaction. It was a depressing picture. 

But it was interesting to look into the real nature of the affair 
too. Kerensky's new Cabinet was, after all, a Soviet Government. 
At its head was a member of the Central Ex. Com. Socialist 
Ministers formed its most important kernel. They not only could 
shape, but in fact did shape the whole Government as they saw 
fit. They announced that the Government was to act in 
accordance with the instructions of the Congress of Soviets. They 
also formally and in practice acknowledged the Congress and 
the Central Ex. Com. as the sole sources of power. Indeed, there 
were now no others at all. If one adds to this that the real power 
and authority were as before in their hands and in their hands 
alone, then the situation would seem to be clear: no matter how 
the Soviet leaders had refused power before, now they had 
formally received it. 

So it seemed. At the same time another side of the matter was 
also plain. The new Chief of State, a member of the Central Ex. 
Com., the Soviet protege Kerensky would not have anything 


to do with any Soviet. He had become Chief of State not as a 
representative of the organized democracy, but by himself, 
seeing himself as a being above class who had been called, and 
was able, to save Russia. And Kerensky, together with his 'Soviet' 
colleagues, was of course using his newly acquired rights 
primarily in order to return the bourgeoisie to power formally 
and in fact. This 'Soviet' Government would of course make its 
chief concern the creation of a new Coalition against the revolu- 
tion. It was a depressing picture. 

In the heat of the debates there was a sudden commotion and 
tumult. The stunning news flew round the room like lightning. 
It was the news of the defeat at the front of the attacking Russian 
army. On the preceding day, the -6th, our lines had been 
pierced on a front of twelve versts near Tarnopol to a depth of 
ten versts. The enemy was continuing his advance. 

No well-informed person had had any doubt that our offen- 
sive was not only bound to collapse in the immediate future, but 
might end in a tremendous disaster. There were many army 
people amongst the Right Soviet deputies who had scented the 
truth from the very beginning. But none of them had wanted to 
display anything but patriotic enthusiasm. And now the news of 
the rout hit the whole Tauride Palace like a thunderbolt. 

It was as patriots that the Mamelukes were shaken, but the 
Opposition was well aware that a defeat at the front would free 
the hands of internal reaction still more. After all, no matter 
how well aware Kerensky was that a wretched ending to his 
enterprise was inevitable, he blamed the Bolsheviks and the July 
uprising for it, both to himself and aloud. Of the Mamelukes, 
the yellow press, and the petty-bourgeois mass, there is no need 
to speak. For them the Tarnopol defeat and the collapse of the 
whole longed-for offensive was the work of Bolshevik hands 
from beginning to end. And indeed, in the official communiques 
from Headquarters Bolshevik agitation was directly blamed for 
the defeat. 

There was consternation in the Central Ex. Com. Even the 
most honest Right-wing deputies, on hearing of the collapse of 
the front, turned their thoughts and glances primarily on these 
same Bolsheviks. The less honest ones, greatly exaggerating the 


danger of the position, definitely hinted that there was now no 
reason to object to a rightful settling of accounts with the 


* * * 

Towards evening a joint session of the Central Ex. Com. and 
the Peasants' Central Ex. Com. was held. It was expected to 
listen once more to the same old speeches on the subject of the 
Government. But first it had to concern itself with other things. 
During all this time arrests had been going on in the city as 
before, and the prisons were being filled to overflowing. In the 
working-class quarters the proletarian detachments and indivi- 
dual workers were being disarmed. It was not only the spon- 
taneous reaction of the masses that was in full swing, but a 
governmental and police reaction as well. 

The Menshevik-Internationalists did everything in their 
power to fight it. Before the Central Ex. Com. got to the funda- 
mental item on the agenda, the Government, Martov asked for 
the floor for an 'emergency statement', and made a short speech 
protesting against the arrests. A statement over our signatures 
was later published in the papers. Just now it would have been 
possible not to answer an 'emergency statement', but nevertheless 
the brave Tsereteli spoke in reply. He said what he had said 
many times before. Why did these second-class Bolsheviks exist 
at all, when there were first-class ones? He, Tsereteli, pre- 
ferred to have to do with Lenin rather than Martov. With the 
former he knew how to deal, but the latter tied his hands. As for 
the repressions and arrests, they were called for by necessities of 
state and the interests of the revolution. 'Irresponsible groups' 
ought to hold their tongues. 

I take the responsibility for these arrests,' said the new 
Minister of the Interior, clearly and distinctly, amidst the 

Indeed, Citizen Tsereteli? You're very bold. You're sowing 
excellent seeds. What will you reap? 

Once again on a sunny morning, around 6 o'clock, I left the 
Tauride Palace and went off to Manukhin's to spend the 'night'. 
As usual, they had been expecting me since the evening. A bed 
had been made up for me on the sofa in the study. And Luna- 


charsky, stretched out on his arm-chairs next to it, was sleeping 
the blameless sleep of youth. He hadn't turned up that day in the 
Tauride Palace, and it seemed as though I hadn't seen him for a 
long time. 

My coming in woke him up; he asked where I'd come from. 
Full of despair and rage I congratulated him on the new 
Coalition and told him of the events of the last day. We talked 
over the whole of the July Days, united by our awareness of the 
catastrophe and hatred of the victors. Both of us forgot about 
the 'authors' of the defeat, in our preoccupation with the general 
calamity. And then Lunacharsky told me the unknown details 
of the July uprising. They were unexpected. 

According to him, jixn^the night of July 4th Lenin was 
definitely planning a coup d'etat. The Government, which would 
in fact be in the hands of the Bolshevik Central Committee, 
would officially be embodied in a 'Soviet 5 Cabinet made up of 
eminent and popular Bolsheviks. For the time being three 
Ministers had been appointed: Lenin, Trotsky, and Lunachar- 
sky. This Government would at once issue decrees about peace 
and land, thus attracting the sympathies of the millions of the 
capital and the provinces and consolidating its power. An 
agreement of this kind had been come to between Lenin, 
Trotsky, and Lunacharsky. It was concluded while the Kron- 
stadters were making their way from Kshesinskaya's house to the 
Tauride Palace. The coup d'etat itself was to proceed in this way: 
the i ySth Regiment (the same one Dan had posted on guard in 
the Tauride Palace), arriving from Krasnoe Selo, was to arrest 
the Central Ex. Com., and at about that time Lenin was to 
arrive on the scene of action and proclaim the new Govern- 
ment. But Lenin was too late. The iy6th Regiment was inter- 
cepted and became disorganized. The 'rising' had failed. 

This is what Lunacharsky told me that is, this is the form I 
remember it in, and in this form I pass it on to anyone into 
whose hands this book happens to fall. It may be that the con- 
tent of this story is not a fully-established historical fact. I may 
have forgotten, confused, or distorted the story. Lunacharsky 
may have been 'poeticizing', confusing, and distorting the 
reality. But the precise establishment of an historical fact is the 
business of historians, and I'm writing my personal memoirs; I 
pass this on as I recall it. . . 


How things were in reality I will not undertake to say. I 
didn't investigate the matter. Only once, much later, I asked 
another candidate for the triumvirate Trotsky about it. He 
strongly objected when I gave him Lunacharsky's version. 
Among other things he brushed aside Lunacharsky as a person 
completely unsuited for this kind of action. 

c The belletristic side of the plot/ Martov said later, when I 
reported my conversation with Lunacharsky. So be it. But if the 
Bolshevik Central Committee, in organizing the coup d'etat, 
had provided for the creation of a centre to direct the fighting 
and take the first steps, that centre could really only have been 
the triumvirate Lenin, Trotsky, and Lunacharsky. 

But none of this proves in any way that on July 4th Lenin 
was definitely and directly aiming at a coup d'etat, that he had 
already distributed the portfolios, or that it was only because he 
came too late that he did not command the lyGth Regiment! 
Some elementary facts tell against Lunacharsky's version. For 
instance, the Kronstadters were present in addition to the 
i yGth Regiment. They undoubtedly constituted the principal 
not only technical but you might say political force. And 
on July 4th at 5 in the afternoon, the 'triumvir 5 Trotsky 
stood face to face with them. What did he do? At the risk of 
losing his popularity, if not his head, he freed Chernov, whereas 
by putting the conspiracy into effect he could have stood at the 
head of the Kronstadters and, to their utter joy, liquidated the 
Central Ex. Com. in five minutes. 

Besides, Trotsky later arranged, so to speak, a confrontation 
with Lunacharsky, addressing a puzzled question to him. Luna- 
charsky said that I had mixed up and distorted my conversation 
with him. I'm inclined to maintain that I remember the con- 
versation well, and that Lunacharsky had mixed up the events. 
But let industrious historians sort it all out. 1 If in the preceding 

1 As a result of Trotsky's inquiry, Lunacharsky sent me a letter, maintaining that 
I had distorted his story. But I can't give his second version instead of the first. The 
principle I'm adhering to in these Notes is to write down everything I recall as I 
recall it. This does not become a historian; Lunacharsky is right there. But I'm not 
writing a history. All I can do to 're-establish the truth' is to print his letter of 
March 3Oth 3 1920, I do this gladly. 

'Dear Nikolai Nikolayevich, 

'Yesterday I received from Comrade Trotsky the following note: "N. N. 
Sukhanov has told me that in his book on the revolution there is an account of the 


pages I have not described historical events, then perhaps this 
page may serve as a description of historical personages. 

At that time, in the early morning of July 8th, lying on my 
sofa, I listened to Lunacharsky's account in utter dejection. The 
devilish grimacing mask of the July Days, looming over me like 
a nightmare, passed before my eyes. So then, there had been not 
only the spontaneous course of events but a malevolent political 

'Peaceful demonstration' and distribution of portfolios. 
'Down with the Capitalist Ministers' and an attack on the 
Socialist Ministers. 'All Power to the Soviets' and the arrest 
of the supreme Soviet body. And as the result blood, filth, and 
the triumph of reaction. . . 

At that moment, while Lunacharsky and I were talking about 
the days that had just passed, in the Palace Square the dis- 
arming and vilifying of the 'insurgent' Bolshevik army was 

It was already about 8 o'clock. Lunacharsky began dressing 
and left me alone. 

July Days in which he relates, in your words, that in July the three of us (Lenin, 
you and myself) wanted to seize power and set about doing so !?!?!?" 

* It is clear, Nikolai Nikolayevich, that you have fallen into a profound error, 
which may have disagreeable consequences for you as well as for the historian. In 
general reference to personal conversations is bad documentation. In this instance, 
if you've really written something of the kind, your memory has completely distor- 
ted our conversation. It never, of course, occurred to Comrade Lenin, Comrade 
Trotsky, or myself to agree on the seizure of power, nor was there even a hint of 
anything in the nature of a triumvirate. 

*In the minds of all the leaders of the movement the July Days had only the 
meaning we put forward with complete frankness: "All power to the Soviet of 
Workers*, Soldiers', and Peasants' Deputies." 

'Of course we did not conceal from ourselves that if the Menshevik-SR Soviet 
had seized the power, it would have slipped away to more resolute revolutionary 
groups further to the Left. 

* Your error was probably caused by my telling you that at a decisive moment of 
the July Days, I told Trotsky in conversation that I should consider it calamitous 
for us to be in power just then, to which Comrade Trotsky, who was always far 
more resolute than I and surer of victory, replied that in his opinion that would not 
have been so bad at all, since the masses would of course have supported us. 

'All this was said merely by way of weighing up the situation in a private con- 
versation at a flaming moment in history. 

*I beg you to take this letter of mine into account in the final version of your 
history, so that you yourself do not fall into error or lead others into it. 

'People's Commissar 
'30-111-1920' '(signed) A. LUNACHARSKY 


Yes, the reaction was triumphant. Everything gained by the 
revolution in the past months had gone to rack and ruin. 

Before the July Days the Coalition with the bourgeoisie had 
been shaken, and had crumbled of itself. The spontaneous 
course of events led immutably to the liquidation of the ruling 
bourgeois bloc and to the dictatorship of the authentic worker- 
peasant democracy. The conquest of the Soviets by this authen- 
tic democracy was a matter of the immediate future. And the 
end of the reign of the bourgeoisie was bound to come in 
conditions that favoured the further course of the revolution 
while preserving its enormous and still fresh energies. 

But a 'political blunder* intervened naturally, a c logical' one. 
The Coalition was on firm ground again and strengthened for a 
long time. The vast energies of the revolution had been squan- 
dered in vain and cast to the winds. The revolution had suffered 
a profound strain and been flung a long way back. 

MarchDecember 1920. 

Part V 


July Sth-October 20th 



HEROES have indeed their destiny! For Kerensky democracy 
was an absolute good; he sincerely saw it as the goal of his 
service to the revolution. He had selflessly served it under the 
Tsarist autocracy, ever since he had appeared before the world 
as the ardent champion and, if you like, the poet of the demo- 

Now, after the July Days, Kerensky had become the head of 
the Government and the State. And this epoch the Kerensky 
epoch was an epoch of dissolution, stifling, and destruction of the 
democracy. Of this epoch Kerensky was the most active and 
responsible hero. 

His premiership began in an evil hour and ended badly. It 
began under the sign of the birth-pangs of counter-revolution 
and its attacks on the democracy. These attempts failed : the 
revolution still retained too much accumulated strength and the 
plutocracy lacked everything but rage, slanders, and the 
miserable shattered remnants of Tsarism. The counter-revolu- 
tion failed in the July riots, but a firm, stubborn, and profound 
reaction set in. 

There had been this reaction before, at the beginning of the 
First Coalition; now, under Kerensky, the reaction became 
dynamic. Before, the reactionary classes had been defending 
themselves; now the bourgeois bloc had passed to the offensive. 
Before the July Days the reaction expressed itself in random 
sabotage; now, under Premier Kerensky, the active liquidation 
of the achievements of the workers and peasants began. 

The Second Coalition, created on July yth under Kerensky's 
leadership, didn't last long a fortnight in all. This term was 
quite inadequate either to 'save 3 or to destroy the revolution, 
but quite enough to reveal itself properly. 


This was done with complete success. 

First of all the new Government energetically continued the 
searches, arrests, disarmings, and persecutions of all kinds that 
had already been begun. Self-appointed groups of officers, 
military cadets, and I think the gilded youth too, rushed to the 
'help' of the new regime, which was obviously trying to present 
itself as a c strong Government 5 . It was not only the mutinous 
regiments and battalions that were disarmed: almost more 
attention was devoted to the working-class districts, where the 
workers' Red Guard was disarmed. Enormous quantities of 
arms were collected. 

Every Bolshevik that could be found was seized and im- 
prisoned. Kerensky and his military friends were definitely 
trying to wipe them off the face of the earth, but the Soviet 
restrained the patriotic enthusiasm of the victors, and an 
attempt at the formal outlawing of Bolshevism as such was a 
failure. Repressions, however, came directly down only on the 
Bolshevik 'officer-corps' andrank-and-file. I think only Kamenev, 
of the generals, was arrested during the July Days; then a few 
days later, on her way back from Stockholm, Kolontai was 
arrested at the border naturally with 'important documents' 
on her; finally the same fate overtook Roshal. Lenin and 
Zinoviev had officially, so to speak, gone into hiding. Trotsky, 
Stalin, Stasova, and many others meanwhile avoided spending 
nights at home and their whereabouts were 'unknown'. Raskol- 
nikov was staying in Kronstadt, under the protection of his own 
army. But it must be said that the police apparatus of this 
Government of the revolution, even though it was being re- 
stored, was still very weak; the authorities simply did not know 
the secondary Bolshevik leaders, whose names did not appear in 
the newspapers. 

In one way or another all the Bolshevik leaders temporarily 
vanished from the horizon after the July Days. Lunacharsky and 
Ryazanov remained, and in addition Nogin, one of the most 
important figures of the Moscow Soviet, and one of the oldest 
Bolsheviks rather negligible, however, in substance was sent 
from Moscow as a representative on the Central Committee. At 
this time Steklov was disavowing the Bolsheviks right and left^ 
paying vigorous court to us, the Menshevik-Internationalists, 
and trying to persuade us, in view of the rout of Bolshevism, to 


unite with its remnants and take over the leadership of the 
extreme Left. But Steklov's diplomacy was inadequate. 

Nor was Steklov himself helped by his equivocations. On the 
night of July loth, when a high-spirited detachment of military 
cadets was looking for Lenin at Bonch's Finnish villa, they didn't 
find Lenin, but were satisfied with another toothsome morsel in 
the person of the famous Steklov, who was taken by a reinforced 
guard directly to the General Staff in Petersburg. Since he had 
'absolutely nothing in common with the Bolsheviks', he was 
quickly let go. But he didn't go home. Many days later he could 
be seen wandering about like a shadow in his Tauride sanctuary 
at the most unseasonable hours, replying to astonished ques- 
tions: Tm not budging from here night or day. They'll kill me. 
You know what there is against me.' 

But the military cadets didn't hunt down only Steklov, who 
had 'nothing in common with Bolshevism'. After destroying the 
Bolshevik organizations, which were legal, they went further 
and executed a raid on the Government Mensheviks them- 
selves, whose party was headed by the Minister of the Interior. 
Was this excessive? But it was completely compatible with the 
'general mood', and especially with the line of the bourgeois 
press. This press evidently considered that the Bolsheviks were 
done for; and after despatching the humiliated, fallen, and 
despised enemy, the Cadet Reck and its gutter-press imitators 
began striking out more and more Rightwards: at Chernov, 
Tsereteli, the Mensheviks and SRs, and at the Soviet generally. 
This was inevitable, quite consistent, and far-sighted. In the 
interests of the bourgeois dictatorship that had become so 
imminent and possible, it was precisely the Soviets that must be 
wiped off the face of the earth. For after all, from the point of 
view of the plutocracy, they were just what constituted the 
original sin of the revolution, the source of 'dual power' and 
the root of evil. The campaign had begun to develop quite 

# * * 

Now the question that naturally and inevitably arose was 
that of a dictatorship. Indeed, three days after Kerensky's 
'appointment' as Premier, the Star Chamber appeared before 
the Central Ex. Com. with a demand for a dictatorship. 


The groundwork was thoroughly prepared. For after the July 
Days the reaction and despondency of the masses of the people 
were enormous. They had penetrated deep into the vanguard 
itself, the most reliable prop of the revolution the thick of the 
Petersburg workers. During the July Days themselves we had 
already seen some factory resolutions against the Bolsheviks. 
That was a shock. Now it was worse. A whole series of factories, 
dissociating themselves from the Bolsheviks and following the 
army units, ardently supported a new Coalition. 

We had been thrown a long way back. The enormous store of 
revolutionary energy had been scattered to the winds. The 
masses were humbled and enfeebled. The bourgeoisie had 
plucked up heart and was eager for battle. The atmosphere of 
deep and lasting reaction could be plainly felt by everyone. The 
ground was favourable for a real dictatorship. 

The entire period of the Second Coalition was spent in an un- 
interrupted, frenzied, self-forgetting hunt by Kerensky and Tsereteli 
for new bourgeois Ministers. 

The Second Coalition had organized itself *on its own autho- 
rity', but it was incomplete; there were some Ministerial 
vacancies. After the July blow, Kerensky, having become head 
of the Cabinet, with quite childish enthusiasm set about forming 
'his own' Government. Swiftly losing all sense of proportion, he 
began displaying his capriciousness in these operations. Without 
waiting for any 'authority' from the Central Ex. Com. he started 
looking for 'supplementary' lieutenants and colleagues im- 
mediately after July 7th. And when the Central Ex. Com. 
formally untied his hands he had already set himself the 
straightforward goal of forming a completely new cabinet the 
Third Coalition to his own taste. 

By the 23rd a Cabinet was ready. Kerensky had left himself 
the Army and Navy Departments, and named as his deputies for 
naval and military affairs Savinkov 1 and Lebedev, both SRs, 
but especially offensive to the democracy. Nekrasov, Deputy 
Chairman in the Council of Ministers, was given Finance. 
Tereshchenko, Skobelev, and Peshekhonov stayed where they 

1 Savinkov, Boris Viktorovich (1879-1925): famous SR terrorist and writer. 
After the October Revolution worked against the Soviet Government; caught by 
GPU on secret trip to Russia, tried and sentenced to gaol for ten years, where he 
died. Winston Churchill thought him one of the most extraordinary men he had 
ever met. (Ed.) 


were. Yefremov got Public Welfare, Prokopovich Industry and 
Commerce, and Avksentiev Internal Affairs. The Minister of 
Justice was now Zarudny, a non-party radical and a personal 
friend of Kerensky's. Nikitin, a lawyer who was considered a 
Social-Democrat but was actually no nearer to being one than 
Prokopovich, was summoned from Moscow for Posts and 
Telegraphs. Then there came four longed-for Cadets : Kokosh- 
kj n Comptroller of Finances, Kartashev Procurator of the 
Holy Synod, Yurenev Communications, and Oldenburg 
Education. And to crown it all the Zimmerwaldite and 
defeatist Chernov. 

Such was the Third Coalition. It did not publish the briefest pro- 
gramme or declaration. 

On the night of July 22nd, in the very heat of the shuffling of 
portfolios, Trotsky and Lunacharsky, accused of the July up- 
rising, were arrested at home. 

For the first time I tore myself away from the centre, away 
from the inferno. I had not yet seen the New Russia. And as a 
matter of fact I was not to see it during my 'furlough'. I stayed in 
the country near Yaroslavl, giving myself over to literature, sun, 
and sloth. My impressions of the province were casual and 
meagre. I visited, in the Governor's house on the banks of the 
Volga, the local Soviet which was in the hands of the Men- 
sheviks. I did not attend any meetings, nor did I see the masses. 
But I was at the Ex. Com., in the centre, the laboratory, and 
with my own eyes witnessed the provincial scarcity of workers 
and the extraordinary concentration of party-functions in the 
hands of two or three men. It was clear that if you took them 
out of the city, all the activity of the Soviet would die away, 
agitation would cease, the Soviet would close down, and 
candidates for the Town Council and the Constituent Assembly 
would vanish. Meanwhile all local power was in the hands of the 
Soviet, without which the provincial commissar and all the 
other official authorities would have been mere puppets. 

Generally speaking, the July disturbance had touched the 
provinces very little. Its echoes were to be found in the 


psychology of the leaders; the masses, who had not seen with their 
own eyes what had happened, reacted feebly. Here the 'normal 5 
process of the conquest of the masses by the Bolsheviks still 
went on. 

More particularly I, as an inhabitant of the capital, was 
astonished at the extensive street life of the ordinary people : in 
this respect the capital had long since shrunk and in its e july' 
atmosphere begun to resemble old Petersburg. In Yaroslavl my 
eye was gladdened by free demonstrations of workers, 'pro- 
hibited 5 among us and obsolete. 

A provincial Menshevik conference took place there around 
then. It was a rather pitiful spectacle. The handful of people 
who had convened displayed an extremely low level of political 
and party consciousness. Among other things the local leaders 
were incapable of distinguishing between the official Men- 
sheviks and the Menshevik-Internationalists. Dan was easily 
distinguished from Lenin, but not from Martov. This seemed 
rather strange to me: I thought that if not theoretically, then 
historically, practically it was easier for them to confuse Martov 
with Lenin than with Dan (as all the bourgeoisie did). But no, 
it was evident that it was the word Menshevik as distinct from 
Bolshevik that had the decisive significance here. They knew 
the word quite well, but were unprepared for a deepening of the 
concept and had no interest in it. 

This was a surprise to me. And I may say I was at my wit's 
end when I thought about a Menshevik schism, which in the 
capital appeared to me inevitable and indispensable. It was 
clear that for these provincials a schism at this moment would 
have been incomprehensible, indigestible. And consequently 
unrealizable. After my return to Petersburg I told Martov all 
this to his great satisfaction. 

The July events had destroyed Bolshevism. But a month 
passed and the joint labours of Kerensky and Tsereteli revived it 
again. Recuperating from the rout themselves, the masses 
poured life and vigour into the Bolshevik Party. They grew 
together with it: it grew together with them. 

By the end of July a new Bolshevik congress had met. It was 
already a 'united 3 conference where the party of Lenin, Zinoviev, 


and Kamenev formally coalesced with the group of Trotsky, 
Lunacharsky, and Uritsky. The leaders couldn't attend they 
could only inspire the congress from afar. But somehow things 
were managed even without them. 

At this congress the Bolsheviks put their post-July ideology in 
order. Its general framework, of course, remained as before, but 
the Bolshevik fighting slogans underwent some characteristic 
changes. C A11 Power to the Soviets' was discarded. This slogan, 
which before 'July' the masses had become used to and regarded 
as their own, was replaced by one more diffuse and less refined : 
'A Revolutionary Dictatorship of the Workers and Peasants', 
etc. . . The reason for this was twofold. First of all, 'All Power to 
the Soviets' had become very shabby in the July events; 
secondly, the contradiction between this slogan and the un- 
avoidable de facto struggle against the existing Soviets had 
become too flagrant. The 'Soviets', after all, in the form of the 
Central Ex. Com., had definitely embarked on the support of 
the counter-revolution. It was not worth while to demand power 
for such Soviets. 

A characteristic fact, almost the only one of its kind: Martov's 
fraction addressed a welcome to this Bolshevik Congress which 
underlined our differences (Bolshevik anarcho-Blanquism), but 
expressed our solidarity in the struggle against the Coalition 
and a protest against the persecution of the party of the pro- 

I've already mentioned that the defeat of Bolshevism in July 
affected mainly the capital, touching the provinces very little. 
The provincial delegates to the Congress, by their accounts of 
continuing successes, poured a great deal of energy and good 
cheer into the party, which again reckoned up its assets and was 
once more ready to develop the struggle to its full extent. Its 
seeds must have fallen on excellent soil. And the work amongst 
the masses was already proceeding at full speed. 

The results of this work were soon made known within the 
Petersburg Soviet, too, where now only the secondary Bol- 
shevik leaders were active Volodarsky, 1 Kurayev, Fedorov, 
and others. The Workers* Section of the Soviet set up its own 

1 Volodarsky (Goldstein), Moisei Markovich (1891-1918) : a revolutionary from 
the age of fourteen. Lived in USA (1913-1917) where he was a member of the 
American Socialist Party. (Ed.) 


Praesidium, which it hadn't had before. And this Praesidium 
proved to be Bolshevik headed by Fedorov. Actually, the 
composition of the section remained as before that is, it had an 
enormous majority of deputies elected under the Bolshevik 
banner. But we have seen the great depression and instability 
in the behaviour of the Workers' Section after the July Days. 
One might have thought that the Bolshevik fraction was routed 
and disorganized and that its members had betrayed the party. 
But in the last analysis that had not happened. The election of 
the Praesidium put the leadership of the section into firm 
Bolshevik hands. 

Finally, on August 7th, the second Conference of Factory 
Committees opened in Smolny. It wasn't as showy and noisy as 
the first one in May. Its scope was substantially less. Its formula- 
tion of questions was more modest, more businesslike, less 
politico-demagogic. This was a tribute to the defeat that had 
compelled insurgents and Utopians to shrink into themselves. 
But again the composition of the conference was Bolshevik. Once 
again the leadership was completely in the hands of Lenin's 

In general, towards the date of the Moscow Conference, a 
little over a month after the July Days, it was already quite 
clear that the movement of the popular masses had resumed its 
former course. The Third Coalition, like the one before it, was 
hanging in the air. The Menshevik SR Soviet was being 
followed by quite compact groups of burgherdom, but not by 
the masses of the workers and soldiers. The rank-and-file of the 
people as before were turning their eyes to the Bolsheviks alone 
while Tsereteli and his friends came before bourgeois-landlord 
Russia and proletarian Europe in the name of 'the whole 



FROM the beginning of August the whole bourgeoisie and the 
'whole democracy' were preparing for the sensational 'State 
Conference'. But no one could tell why this strange and un- 
wieldy affair was undertaken just then. The press was 
strenuously trying to make the man in the street take an interest 
in this enterprise not without success. The man in the street, 
like everyone else, saw that something was decidedly out of tune 
in our revolution. No matter what they tried in the Marian and 
Winter Palaces still nothing happened. Well, maybe the Mos- 
cow Conference would 'produce' something. 

Before the Central Ex. Com. delegation actually left for 
Moscow the news came out that Savinkov, Kerensky's deputy in 
charge of the War Department, had resigned. Savinkov was 
hand in glove with Kornilov: together they had just handed 
Kerensky a report demanding that the army committees be 
dissolved and capital punishment be introduced at the rear. 
Kerensky was vacillating between Headquarters and the Star 
Chamber, which didn't agree and was exerting pressure 
through the SR Central Committee. Hence Kornilov decided 
to go his own way, and Savinkov resigned. But the resignation 
wasn't serious; it was simply a household mutiny, for Savinkov, 
after all, was Kornilov's alter ego, and was not a Cadet but his 
own man a Socialist Minister and famous SR terrorist. 

On the evening of the i ith I left the Yaroslavl countryside for 
Moscow. I got into a train at one of the stations before Yaroslavl, 
but the train was already overflowing, and in all classes you had 
to stand up all night. In Yaroslavl, by using my title of Central 
Ex. Com. member, I penetrated into an almost empty military 
carriage. I was delighted at my success, but something rather 
disagreeable happened as a result. I was naive enough to 
remove my boots, which were gone when I happened to wake 
up an hour or two later. The extraordinary stupidity of my 
situation prevented me from going to sleep again. 

In Moscow, astounding the crowd with my stockinged feet, I 
made my way to the station-master and spent about two hours 


telephoning to people at random, to see whether some friend 
could bring a pair of boots to the station for me. This was all 
quite typical of travelling at this time. 

I finally found someone with a spare pair of boots. But 
bringing them proved to be more difficult than could have been 
expected. The trams in Moscow had stopped, and there were 
almost no drozhky-drivers in the streets either. There was a 
strike, not a general one, but very impressive and sufficient to 
manifest the will of the masses. A number of factories and 
works were on strike, as was every municipal undertaking 
except those satisfying the daily needs of the population. 
Restaurants, waiters, and even half the drozhky-drivers were on 
strike. This whole working-class army was following the 
Bolsheviks against its own Soviet! Towards evening the demonstra- 
tion would become still more perceptible: Moscow was to 
be submerged in darkness, since the gas works was also on 

In somebody else's enormous boots I set out on foot to look 
for the Soviet delegation. En route \ dropped into the journalists' 
office (somewhere near the post-office), to see the Novaya Zfd&i 
correspondent assigned to the Conference. The journalists' 
office was a tower of babel: whole crowds of them were 
struggling, each one against all the others, for a place at the 
Conference. The hubbub, excitement, and play of passions 
attained absolutely extraordinary limits. In this street it was a 
real holiday and a great day. And this one picture of frenzied 
reporters was enough to define the historical importance of the 
Moscow State Conference. A good two-thirds of its weight, after 
all, depended on the journalists' interest in it. 

The magnificent hall of the Bolshoi Theatre was glittering 
with all its lights. From top to bottom it was filled with a 
triumphal and even brilliant crowd. Oh, here in truth was all 
the flower of Russian society ! Only a few accidental unfortunates 
were missing from among the big and little political 'names'. 
Keeping guard around the theatre was a dense column of 
military cadets Kerensky's only reliable force. A niggling 
control-system stopped one at every step inside the theatre too. 
Nevertheless, going into the stalls, I could scarcely make my 
way to my seat through the dense throng of supers crowding 
round the doors. . . 


I was late for the opening. But even before catching sight of 
Kerensky, I heard him emotionally holding forth on the high 
notes in his first speech for the Provisional Government. 

I shall not, of course, follow the course of this 'State Con- 
ference 5 . It was foredoomed to contribute nothing whatever to 
the formation of a Government : the Government had already 
been formed, everyone was content with it, and nothing more 
was asked. Nor was the Conference supposed to replace a 
parliament. Why should it? Kerensky and his colleagues, after 
all, were responsible only to their own consciences. To discover 
and say something new about "the needs of the country 5 ? Come 
now, this was, after all, a time of the flowering of a thousand- 
voiced press, which it was clearly unthinkable to surpass. Only 
one thing was left: to crush the opinion of the 'whole demo- 
cracy' by means of the opinion of the 'whole country' for the 
sake of a definitive and complete liberation of the 'all-national 
Government' from the tutelage of all the workers', peasants', 
Zimrnerwaldite, half-German, half-Jewish, hooligan organiza- 
tions. To compel the Soviets to efface themselves once and 
for all before the overwhelming majority of the rest of the 
populace, which demanded an 'all-national' policy. And perhaps 
at the same time to enforce silence on the handful of upstarts on 
the Right, who were shouting too immoderately about General 
Fist as the sole recourse. It was all bizarrely trivial and naive, 
but I could find no other explanation in history for this 



ELECTIONS for the central Petersburg Town Council were 
scheduled for Sunday, August 20th. Up to then our 'commune' 
had been composed provisionally of the delegations of the 
district councils elected in May. Now its final composition was 
to be determined by city-wide direct elections. 

All the parties naturally ascribed enormous importance to 
these elections. No one knew what turn the revolution would 
take. And circumstances might arise in which the capital's 
'commune' might play a decisive role, as in the time of Robes- 
pierre. But at the same time indications of the fatigue and 
apathy of the masses of the people came from everywhere; 
many abstentions were expected. The Right Soviet elements 
and newspapers pointed this out with especial frequency. 

And in some strange inscrutable way the conclusion they 
drew from it was that in such conditions it was impossible to 
disown the Coalition or struggle against it; in such circum- 
stances nothing was left but to support it. Wouldn't one have 
thought the contrary? Fatigue, disillusionment, depression, 
had been engendered, after all, precisely by the Coalition 
policy, that had brought the revolution into an impassable 
bog. One would have thought that the end of the Coalition 
would mean a renaissance, towards which no other paths even 
existed. But no, burgherdom and the Mamelukes reasoned 

In any case all the parties had long been frenziedly preparing 
for the elections. 

The Mensheviks had a single list of candidates. And it was 
entirely internationalist. On the eve of the election Larin pro- 
posed that we should all go to various parts of the city to do 
some electoral campaigning for the Menshevik ticket. I per- 
sonally was assigned to two places: first to the proletarian 
Vyborg Side, then to the bourgeois Mokhovoy. I was to speak at 
one SR and one Cadet meeting. Influenced by the talk about 


apathy I was in a rather slack mood. And as a matter of fact, in 
spite of the animation of the dusty 'democratic 5 streets of the 
Vyborg Side, I found in the meeting-hall a boring little group 
of workers sleepily listening to an SR speaker. It would have 
been tiresome and futile to speak. I thought the bourgeoisie 
would be mobilizing far more energetically. But when I arrived 
at the Tenishevsky School, I looked in vain for the meeting 
scheduled there. It evidently was not taking place at all. Un- 
bearably fatigued I glumly wandered back to the newspaper 

The election results, however, were unexpected. The voters 
were fed up with meetings, but that did not mean at all that they 
were neglecting their civic duties. In all 549,400 votes were cast 
on August 2Oth. There is no doubt that the overwhelming majority 
turned out to the poll. 

But it was not the activity of the masses that was the chief blow; 
that was still to come. The SRs kept the first place with 37 per 
cent of the votes; in comparison with the May elections, how- 
ever, this was no victory but a substantial setback. The victors of 
July, the Cadets, had also held their ground since the district 
elections: they got one-fifth of all the votes. Our Menshevik list 
got a wretched 23,000 votes. The others simply did not come 
into the reckoning. 

But who was the sole real victor? It was the Bolsheviks,, so 
recently trampled into the mud, accused of treason and 
venality, utterly routed morally and materially, and filling 
till that very day the prisons of the capital. Why, one would 
have thought them annihilated for ever. People had almost 
ceased to notice them. Then where had they sprung up from 
again? What sort of strange, diabolical enchantment was 

In the August elections in the capital the Bolsheviks got just 
short of 200,000 votes, i.e., 33 per cent. A third of Petersburg. 
Once again the whole proletariat of the capital, the lord of the 
revolution! Citizens Tsereteli and Chkheidze, leaders of the all- 
powerful organ, orators of the whole democracy now do you 
see the Bolsheviks? Now do you understand? 

No! Still they see nothing, still they don't understand what is 
going on around them, . . 


Miliukov, Rodzianko, and Kornllov they saw and under- 
stood something. In any case their press was stunned by the 
success of the Bolsheviks. And these gallant heroes of the revolu- 
tion began, at express speed, though in secret, to prepare their 
own 'demonstration'. To cover it up they began shouting loudly 
that the Bolsheviks were on the point of 'demonstrating'. Some- 
times, it is true, their tongues slipped. For instance, the respec- 
table Cadet Reck, in response to the hearty tone of the Kronstadt 
Soviet newspaper, in an uncharacteristic colloquial style, 
snapped back with two excellent Russian proverbs : 'the birdie 
sang before the cat sprang', and 'he laughs best who laughs 
last 5 . 

The cat about to spring was preparing to have a good last 
laugh. But this couldn't be said to be so very easy. A plot was 
hatched by some monarchist elements, with the participation of 
the Romanov Grand Dukes, in the middle of August, but it was 
discovered in time and the participants were arrested together 
with the Romanovs. The bourgeois press, for its own reasons, 
didn't make anything very sensational of this plot. But the 
masters of this press had been warned, nevertheless, that you 
can't take a republic with your bare hands, and that they must 
make solider preparations. But this slight warning had no effect 
on the sleepy, half-disorganized 'national' Central Ex. Com. . . 

Around then I glanced into Smolny Institute, the school for 
daughters of the nobility, which the Central Ex. Com. had 
started moving into on July i8th, the same day the Provisional 
Government moved to the Winter Palace and the Premier took 
up residence there. I wanted to see what was going on in the 
new quarters of the 'all-powerful organ 5 . But I received little 
satisfaction and still less benefit. I did not like Smolny at all, and 
never ceased to regret the loss of the Tauride. This famous place 
was located on the outskirts of the capital and consumed an 
enormous amount of everyone's time in getting back and forth. 
It was all right to keep 'y un g gentlewomen' in, but not for 
making a revolution with the proletariat and garrison of the 
capital. But I don't know whether the young ladies and the 
children liked it there, either. There were, to be sure, magni- 
ficent architectural monuments nearby, especially the monas- 


tery : I remember gasping and standing stockstill on seeing it for 
the first time. Smolny also had a remarkable, divinely clean, 
harmoniously finished assembly hall: from now on this was the 
principal, as it were internal, arena of the revolution. But those 
interminable, dark, gloomy, gaol-like, monotonous, stone- 
floored corridors! Those arid, barrack-like classrooms, with 
nothing in them to rest the eye ! It was dreary, uncomfortable, 
and uninviting. 

Life was concentrated for the most part on the second floor, 
the lightest and most handsome. There the big assembly hall, 
holding 1,500 or 2,000 people, took up the whole right wing. 
This was where the Soviet sections and plenum, the Central 
Ex. Com., and the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets held 
their sittings. Near it there was an uncomfortable buffet with 
rough tables and benches and extremely meagre food : not far 
off was the office of the Praesidium. All the other classrooms 
were occupied by sections of the Central Ex. Com. The furni- 
ture was manifestly inadequate. There was neither order nor 

Remembering the Tauride, I wandered sadly around the new 
citadel of the revolution. It was deserted and melancholy. Both 
in the sections and in the meeting of the Bureau there were oddly 
few people. But it seemed to me that amongst them there were 
oddly many new faces. Chkheidze was enthroned in an extra- 
ordinary wing-chair, but this failed to lend any solemnity to the 
session. Why it had assembled, what it talked about I simply 
don't remember. But I very well remember feeling that what 
was talked about there made no difference at all. 

Sunday, August 2yth, marked the end of six months of 
revolution. It was a rather wretched jubilee. It was not only not 
showy and noisy, but it passed almost without notice in the 
repulsive atmosphere of those days. The whole affair was 
limited to a few mass-meetings and a 'ceremonial 3 session of the 
Central Ex. Com., which I did not attend; nor indeed did 
almost anybody else. 

On that day, at 10 in the morning, I was giving a workers 5 
lecture in a cinema not far from the Nicholas Station. I've 
just now seen in one of the newspapers that the topic of my 


lecture was 'The Moscow Conference'. This seems strange to 
me. To be sure, the lecture given on the 27th had obviously been 
scheduled for around the 20th, immediately after my arrival 
from Moscow. But nevertheless why was it necessary, in the 
midst of all that was happening, for me to speak to workers 
about this silly business? It was obviously the fashion. 

After the lecture, I went to the Petersburg Side to the Cirque 
Moderne, where Lunacharsky was giving a lecture on Greek art. 
A huge working-class audience was listening with great interest 
to the popular speaker and his unfamiliar stories. The lecture 
was already almost over. We had actually agreed to meet only in 
order to lunch and spend the holiday together. 

The two of us, together with my wife and someone else, 
strolled to the 'Vienna', then wandered about the streets and 
quays for a long time, talking about aesthetics and 'culture'. . . 
There was a breath of autumn already in the sky. The un- 
forgettable summer was ending, and the sun set early in the sea. 
We could not sufficiently admire our marvellous Petersburg. 
Already tired, we strolled homewards to the Karpovka across 
Trinity Bridge and along the Kamenno-ostrovsky. We sat there 
till dark, chatting over tea. 

The 'phone rang. Someone from Smolny: 

'Why are you at home? You know the Bureau's been sitting 
since morning, and a plenum of the Central Ex. Com. is just 
going to begin. Smolny is full. . . Why aren't you here?' 

'But what's the matter?* 

'What? Don't you know? Kornilov is moving on Petersburg 
with troops from the front. He's got an army corps. . . Things 
are being organized here. . .' 

I dropped the receiver. In two minutes Lunacharsky and I 
had already left for Smolny. I related to him the few words I'd 
heard on the 'phone; they gave both of us an equal shock. We 
scarcely discussed the stupefying news. Its meaning was in- 
stantly apparent in its full scope and in the same light to both 
of us. A deep, extraordinary sigh of relief escaped from both of 
us. We felt excitement, exaltation, and the joy of liberation. 

Yes, this was a threat that would clear the unbearably oppres- 
sive atmosphere. This was the starting point for a radical 
transformation of the whole conjuncture. And in any case it was 
a full revenge for the July Days. The Soviet might be reborn ! 


The democracy might take new heart, and the revolution might 
swiftly find its lawful course, long lost. . . 

That Kornilov could attain his goal we didn't believe for a 
single second. That he might get as far as Petersburg with his 
troops and there establish a real dictatorship we so thoroughly 
disregarded that I don't think we even mentioned it on our way 
to Smolny. There was still enough powder left in the magazine 
to prevent that ! If not one Tsarist echelon got to Petersburg at the 
moment of the March revolution, in the complete chaos of ideas 
and in spite of the old discipline, the old officers, the age-old 
inertia, and the terrible and unknown novelty a Tsarist general 
could not now seize the army and the capital. Now we had a 
new, democratically organized army and a powerful pro- 
letarian organization in the capital. Now we had our own com- 
manders, ideological centres, and traditions. . . 

Kornilov, the Tsarist general, had of course all the organized 
bourgeoisie behind him. He might also have behind him a small 
military apparatus in Petersburg, with its centre in the Staff and 
controlled by his accomplices. 1 But he had no real power. 
Kornilov could have had only a scratch detachment, even 
though a very big one. But Petersburg would meet him as it 
should if the field army did not settle him on the spot. 

There was no danger from this quarter. Here the revolution 
would lose nothing; but how much it would gain from the fact 
that Kornilov, Rodzianko, and Miliukov behaved like Lenin, 
Zinoviev, and Stalin! In July, to be sure, the Bolsheviks had 
been in a hurry to pluck the unripe fruit and got poisoned. The 
fruit would have ripened, and then have benefited the revolu- 
tion. The Kornilovites had not committed so gross a blunder: 
their fruit was quite ripe, but it might turn rotten, or the 
revolution might at any moment pull the tree up by the roots. 
Unlike the Bolsheviks, the Kornilovites had reason to be afraid 
of allowing the moment to pass, and to consider the present 
conjuncture the most favourable for a 'demonstration 5 . 

But this subjective side of the matter has no meaning. 
Objectively Kornilov and his friends, when they lost the game, 

1 General Lukomsky, in his memoirs (Vol. 5 of the Archives of the Revolution), 
reports that the Staff really did have a military apparatus in Petersburg consisting of 
officer and cadet cadres, which even numbered many thousands. This would have 
been an adequate force, if only . . . 


would accept all its consequences, like the Bolsheviks in July. 
The coup of the generals and financiers, with the consequent 
opening of the front to the Kaiser, shifted the centre of gravity 
of the whole situation to the opposite side a feat which the 
Bolsheviks could not accomplish a millionth part of. And as for 
the rest. * . It's true that the rest was still unknown, but after all 
it depended to an enormous extent on ourselves alone. . . To 
Smolny, then, as quickly as possible ! 

Smolny was indeed full. Strings of people were scurrying 
about the corridors, dimly lit as always. Only the assembly hall, 
with its snow-white columns, was shining brightly. This was 
now the centre of Smolny. But there was no meeting of the 
Central Ex, Com., though a great many deputies and nearly all 
the leaders were there. There were impromptu meetings in the 
hall, groups formed, people wandered about in pairs. Tsereteli, 
downcast and dejected, was walking up and down with one of 
the Bolsheviks. As I appeared I heard him say listlessly: 'Well ! 
Now you have a holiday in your Bolshevik alley, you'll be taking 
the bit between your teeth again. . .' 

Indeed! So Lunacharsky and I hadn't been mistaken. Tsere- 
teli felt depressed, foreseeing the same results of the Kornilov 
rising as we had. So we really could pluck up heart again. 

Rumours of the Kornilov coup had reached Smolny that 
morning, I think while I was giving my lecture in the cinema 
near the Nicholas Station. There were a few people there at this 
time who were about to set out for mass-meetings to celebrate 
the first six months of the revolution. 

They tried to call the Bureau together. It proved to be 
a miserable session with scarcely a quorum. It 'completely 
approved the decision of the Provisional Government and the 
steps taken by A. F. Kerensky*. Just what steps these were I 
don't know, and the Bureau, in concrete, must also be thought 
not to have known. But the 'decision' that had been approved 
referred to Kornilov's dismissal. 

The Bureau, assembled in a small casual conclave, actually 
couldn't take any other decision. Not only because it was its 


natural 'line 5 to support the Coalition and associate itself with it 
in every way, but also because it did not, after all, even suspect 
the real state of affairs. In Smolny only one thing was known: 
that General Kornilov, who had just surrendered Riga to the 
Germans, had 'come out' against the Provisional Government as 
a pretender to power, while Kerensky had declared him a rebel 
and was taking decisive steps against him. Obviously, this could 
only be approved. 

Kornilov, with his civilian and military friends, had been 
crystal clear to us from the very beginning. He was the 'mathe- 
matical centre' of the bourgeois dictatorship, relieving the sham 
dictatorship in order to liquidate the revolution. It was only 
Premier Kerensky, the head of the Third Coalition, who 
baffled us. But even this perplexity had only a partial and local, 
not a general, character. His general role, of course, needs no 
clarification, hardly even a brief formulation. 

Kerensky, just like Kornilov, had set himself the goal of intro- 
ducing a bourgeois dictatorship (even though, also like Kornilov, 
he didn't understand this). 

These two 'mathematical centres 3 had fallen out over the 
question of which could be the bearer of this dictatorship. One 
represented the Stock Exchange, capital, and the rentiers; the 
other the same, plus the still to a large extent indeterminate 
groups of petty-bourgeois democratic artisans, intelligentsia, the 
Third Estate, and the paid managers of home industry and 

But Kornilov and Kerensky each needed the other, so great 
was the yet undissipated power of the masses. The contending 
sides had been forced into an alliance, but they still remained 
contending sides. 

Each was trying to use the other for his own aims. Kornilov 
was striving for a pure dictatorship of finance, capital, and 
rentiers, but had to accept Kerensky as hostage of the demo- 
cracy. Kerensky was aiming at a dictatorship of a bloc of the big 
and petty bourgeoisie, but had to pay heavy tribute to his ally as 
the wielder of the real power. And each was trying to ensure that at 
the finishing post he would be the actual and formal master of 
the situation. 

Hence came all the 'interrelationships* of the two enemy allies, 
which were sometimes strange, absurd, and incomprehensible. 


This was the source of the 'lack of clarity 5 of this dirty but not 
obscure business. 

Now the Central Ex. Com. came on the scene. I have a rather 
dim recollection of the night session to which Lunacharsky and I 
had hurried. I recall only a certain amount of hubbub in the 
hall and disorder in the conduct of the meeting. One would 
have thought the deputies ought to have got ready, pulled 
themselves together, and been filled with revolutionary energy 
and consciousness of the gravity of the moment. But none of this 
was to be seen. No one here believed in any real danger, and 
since the revolution people had become accustomed and inured 
to dramatic situations. The Commander-in-Chief's march on 
Petersburg and the beginning of a civil war under the nose of the 
advancing German Army had neither more nor less effect on the 
imagination than at one time a street demonstration against 
Tsarist arbitrariness. 

The debates proceeded along two lines. The first led to the 
formation of a new Government, the second to the organization 
of the defence of the capital against Kornilov's troops. 

The second was by far the more important and interesting. 
Only the night before, the Right Menshevik Weinstein had pro- 
posed, in the name of his fraction, that a special 'committee for 
the struggle against the counter-revolution' be formed. But 
what should this special committee do? Its initiators were not 
quite clear about that. In any case it must give every kind of 
technical aid to the official organs of government in the struggle 
against Kornilov. 

The Menshevik resolution was of course passed. Later the 
new body received the name of Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee. It was this institution that bore the whole brunt of the 
struggle against the Kornilov campaign. It was this, and only 
this, that liquidated the conspiracy (if we leave aside the 
generally unfavourable atmosphere that precluded Kornilov's 
success, independently of the activity of any institutions at 
all). . . 

But, in spite of the exceptional role of the Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee in liquidating the Kornilov revolt, we must 
assume that the Soviet bloc would not have taken on itself the 


initiative in the matter if it had foreseen what that role would be 
in the future. From now on we shall do our best not to lose sight 
of this Military Revolutionary Committee, which did not die 
after the Kornilov revolt, but simply fell into a state of sus- 
pended animation, to revive on different foundations later on 
and tower aloft in October. 

Anyone capable of penetrating the general situation at this 
time must grasp a basic point: the Bolshevik attitude towards 
this new body. It was precisely the Bolsheviks who were to 
define its whole character, fate, and role. The Star Chamber 
and its Mamelukes more or less failed to see this, but so it was. 
The Military Revolutionary Committee, in organizing the 
defence, had to set in motion the masses of workers and 
soldiers, and these masses, in so far as they were organized, 
were organized by the Bolsheviks and followed them. At that 
time theirs was the only organization that was large, welded 
together by elementary discipline, and united with the demo- 
cratic rank-and-file of the capital. Without them the Military 
Revolutionary Committee was impotent; without them it could 
only have passed the time with makeshift proclamations and 
flabby speeches by orators who had long since lost all authority. 
With the Bolsheviks, however, the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee had at its disposal all organized worker-soldier strength, 
of whatever kind. What attitude, then, did the Bolsheviks adopt? 

The evening before, the Bolsheviks had declared that their 
party had already taken steps to inform the masses of the 
danger that threatened them, and had set up a special com- 
mission for the organization of defence. This commission would 
establish contact with the newly created organ of the Central 
Ex. Com. The Bolsheviks sent their representatives into the 
Military Revolutionary Committee, although they were bound 
to find themselves in a negligible minority there. And then, in 
the morning, when a resolution to give Kerensky a free hand 
was being voted on, the Bolsheviks, voting against it, declared 
that if the Government was really going to fight against the 
counter-revolution, they were ready to co-ordinate their entire 
activity with that of the Provisional Government, and conclude 
a military-technical alliance with it. 

The beginning was excellent. The Bolsheviks had shown* 
extraordinary tact and political wisdom, to say nothing of 


devotion to the revolution. To be sure, when they entered into 
an uncharacteristic compromise they were pursuing certain 
special goals their allies did not foresee, but this made their 
acumen all the greater. 

The same night and morning of the s8th the Central Ex. Com. 
issued a series of proclamations and instructions to the various 
organizations of the democracy. First of all to committees and 
Soviets of the army and at the front. Then to the railwaymen, 
the postal and telegraph workers, and the Petersburg garrison. 
These addresses gave an account of what had happened and 
asked people not to obey orders from Headquarters, to watch 
the movement of counter-revolutionary troops and put every 
kind of obstacle in their way, to detain the conspirators 5 letters, 
and to obey at once the orders of the Soviet organs and the 
Provisional Government. They also pointed out that the con- 
spiracy lacked deep roots and could be overcome by solidarity 
and dash. And then the Provisional Government, which was of 
course taking most resolute steps and hence ought to be the 
centre of such solidarity, was given a puff. 

The Military Revolutionary Committee, speaking generally, 
had not a particularly brilliant array of names, but the com- 
position of the collegium was rather typical: the Right Soviet 
bloc, in the person of their stars of the first magnitude, con- 
tinued to operate primarily in the sphere of 'higher policy 5 on the 
parquets of the Winter Palace; while in the Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee the well-known names were Leftists. And 
despite their being in the minority it was quite clear that in the 
Military Revolutionary Committee control was in the hands of the 
Bolsheviks. This followed from the nature of things. First of all, if 
the committee wanted to act seriously, then it had to act revolts 
tionarily, that is, independently of the Provisional Government, 
of the existing constitution, of the acting official institutions. 
Only the Bolsheviks could operate like this, not the Soviet Com- 
promisers. Secondly, only the Bolsheviks had the material means 
for revolutionary activity, in the form of control of the masses. 

On August 28th the Military Revolutionary Committee began 
with the investigation and localization of all possible Kornilov 
bases in Petersburg: these were, of course, all the military 


academies and officers' organizations undoubtedly strong 
counter-revolutionary cells that had to be paralysed. To the 
Soviet emissaries, however, the gallant military cadets ener- 
getically painted themselves in coalitionary and Right-Soviet 
colours. Arrests were still exceptional. . . 

Then steps were taken to cut off the Kornilov troops. Some 
orders to this effect may have been given by Kerensky, though 
this is more than doubtful. In any case, however, the railway- 
men's organizations were completely at the disposal of the 

But perhaps the most effective measures taken that day were 
for arming the workers. It goes without saying not only that 
this was on the initiative of the Bolsheviks but also that they 
issued an ultimatum on the subject. As far as I know it was a 
condition of their participation in the Military Revolutionary 
Committee. The majority of the committee could not help 
accepting this condition, if it took a serious view of its tasks. But 
it had an excellent appreciation of the principled significance of 
this measure, and did not yield without a struggle. The Military 
Revolutionary Committee resolved, in view of the necessity of 
'opposing the armed forces of the counter-revolution by 
mobilizing the forces of the workers, that the arming of indivi- 
dual groups of workers for the defence of the workers' districts 
and factories, under the closest guidance of the district Soviets 
and the control of the Committee, be considered desirable. 
In case of necessity these groups would join field army units and 
be completely subject to the general army command.' 

The swiftness and thoroughness with which the Military 
Revolutionary Committee entered into the role of the real 
headquarters and core of the besieged capital may be seen, for 
instance, in the following manifestations of its 'organic labours' 
on that same August 28th: it received reports on the supply 
situation in the capital from Nikitsky, the 'Governor', and Groh- 
man, the chairman of the Central Supply Committee. It also 
ordered the mobilization of all supply organs for especially 
intense activity under the control of the corresponding trade- 
unions and the reduction of the bread ration in the capital to half a 
pound per food-card. 

The democratic, military, and trade-union organizations in 
the suburbs of Petersburg wired the Military Revolutionary 


Committee their readiness to place themselves completely at its 
disposition. Without any superfluous words the Kronstadt 
Soviet eliminated the post-July authorities and installed their 
own commander in the fortress. The Central Committee of the 
Fleet also went over to a revolutionary position and was ready 
for battle on sea or land at the first demand from the Central 
Ex. Com. 

That same night and early morning the Bolsheviks had begun 
to display a feverish activity in the workers' districts. Their 
military apparatus organized mass-meetings in all the barracks. 
Everywhere instructions were given, and obeyed, to remain 
under arms, ready to advance. By and large Smolny was meet- 
ing Kornilov with all its lights blazing. 

But what was going on in the Winter Palace? Was the head 
of the State, the sole hope of the revolution, doing anything at 
this terrible hour? 

Kerensky, to save the revolution and liquidate the Kornilov 
rising as quickly as possible, insisted on a Directory. And there 
and then, on August s8th, as a beginning, 1 he conferred Direc- 
tory portfolios on the following indubitable Kornilovites 
Savinkov, Tereshchenko, and Kishkin. 2 

But the same irritating and tiresome people, who actually had 
no business having been born at all, even if they were party 
comrades, kept interfering. Tsereteli and Gots turned up from 
Smolny and began arguing again: 'How can you? 5 said they. 

Kerensky's 'superhuman' wisdom was impossible for simple 
people to grasp. As far as can be judged from a great deal of 
evidence, he answered at first : 'Well, all right we can leave a 
sixth place in the Directory for some representative of the 
revolutionary democracy, say Nikitin'. But the tiresome people 
from Smolny persisted in demanding closer relations with the 
Soviet and the representation of SRs and Mensheviks in the 

But the deal was spoilt, and the head of the State appointed 

1 Later Kerensky also declared himself Commander-in- Chief. (Ed.) 

2 Kishkin, Nikolai Mikhailovich (1864-1930): physician; Cadet; member of 
Provisional Government; Commissar of Moscow in summer of 1917. Arrested a 
number of times for political reasons after the October Revolution, but spent last 
years of his life in the People's Commissariat for Health. (Ed.) 


Savinkov Governor-General of Petersburg and its suburbs. In 
addition, all troops in the area were subject to him. Thus the 
entire official weight of the struggle against Kornilov rested on 
Savinkov, while on Kerensky rested the entire responsibility for 
this incomprehensible choice. Kerensky, after all, knew Savin- 
kov to be a Kornilovite; the latter had very often declared his 
solidarity with the General, and handed his resignation to the 
Premier, who disagreed, and even now, on August 28th, con- 
tinued to insist on the Kornilov programme. Let us allow that 
the head of the State was really incapable of regarding Teresh- 
chenko or Maklakov (both frequenters of Supreme Head- 
quarters) as Kornilovites, but you would have thought there 
could be no possible doubt about Savinkov. 

All this only seems unnaturally absurd. As a matter of fact it 
was the logic of Kerensky 5 s position, which he himself, of course, 
was unaware of. For he really couldn't, after all, start a serious 
struggle against Kornilov instead of this unworthy and distaste- 
ful game. He felt this without understanding it, for he himself 
was a Kornilovite on condition that he himself head the 
Kornilov rising and all the people he looked to for support 
were unconditional and unqualified Kornilovites. In these 
circumstances Kerensky could do nothing else in fighting the 
plot but appoint someone known to be one of the plotters, as the 
fully authorized and official commander of all the forces 
mobilized for its liquidation. 

But why didn't Smolny declare that this was manifest treason? 
Or was the Star Chamber top in the plot with Kornilov? Oh no 
it was decidedly not guilty of that. The point is that Smolny 
didn't know anything about the quibbling and pettifogging in 
the Winter Palace. As before it knew only one thing: that 
Kornilov was marching on Petersburg with troops to set up a 
military dictatorship, while Kerensky had declared him a rebel 
and was taking decisive steps to defend the revolution. It was 
only by degrees that the truth began, in the midst of the 
tumult, to filter through, and then only in the following days. 

But it's time to take a look at how the 'revolt' was getting on. 
What was being done at the Headquarters and on the new 
Petersburg front of the civil war on August 2 8th? 


* Coming out openly' on the night of the syth, the official chief 
of the rebels immediately set about consolidating the whole 
field army behind him. He sent a proclamation and an order 
throughout the front to the commanding generals to support his 
coup. For the front commanders there was undoubtedly nothing 
unexpected in this ; there was probably not one non-Kornilovite 
among them. Nevertheless it was evident that a majority had 
not been calculating on a war with the Government, but on the 
destruction of the revolution with the 'maximum of legality*. 

Kornilov's appeal was responded to at once by Kaledin, the 
Cossack ataman, then by the even better-known Denikin, the 
commander of the south-western front. Finally the commander 
of the very important north-western front. General Klem- 
bovsky, Kerensky's worthy choice, appointed by Kerensky 
himself to Kornilov's post, came over to the side of the rebels. 

But it would seem that the dissemination of Kornilovism in 
the army ended there. At least there seemed to be no other 
outward show of it. Here, of course, it was Kerensky's demon- 
strative action that played the primary role; in declaring the 
Kornilov coup to be a rebellion against the legitimate Govern- 
ment and in outlawing it, Kerensky was demanding an open 
active insurrectionary move from the Kornilovite generals. The 
majority couldn't make up their minds to this, and this intro- 
duced confusion, vacillation, and disorganization into the 
Kornilovite milieu. However they may have sympathized with 
Kornilov and despised the Premier, they had not expected to 
take such a form of action and were not prepared to do so. 

The highest command did not place itself at Kornilov's 
disposal, and this inflicted a cruel blow on the Kornilov revolt 
at the most decisive hour. Other commanders began asking 
Petersburg what they were to do. Some went back on their word 
immediately and began to work in contact' with the Govern- 
ment commissars, while the official Kornilov adherents simply 
undertook no action and lost precious moments. 

But the army itself? The rest of the commanders? The officers? 
The soldiery ? We know that on the night of the 27th the Central 
Ex. Com. had already circulated instructions to its army 
organizations, which forestalled the Kornilov coup in the army 
as a whole. Kornilov's orders were in the hands only of the staffs 
at the front, where they were held up by Soviet agency and 


didn't reach the army. On the contrary, the position of the 
supreme Government and of the Soviet was widely popularized 
amongst the officers and soldiers by the concerted efforts of the 
army organizations from the morning of the 28th on. Here the 
results were manifest. The army units took no action against 
Kornilov, since they had received no instructions, but there 
could be no question of any support for the revolt. If Head- 
quarters cannot be said to have been isolated,, at any rate its 
rebellion was localized at the very first, decisive moment. 

In the last analysis the practical calculations of the rebels 
could be based now only on the 3rd Cossack Corps, which was 
marching on Petersburg. The Corps should have been stationed 
in the suburbs of Petersburg by the evening of the zyth. Those 
were the directives given to Krymov, the commanding officer. 
But they were not carried out: Krymov was late for technical 
reasons. In particular the 'Savage Division' got stuck at the Dno 

With the morning of the 2 8th the Kornilov echelons began 
arriving in the town of Luga. There were eight echelons in all, 
led by Krymov himself. The troops occupied the town, the 
municipal and government offices, the premises of the Soviet; 
but everything was orderly and calm. There was no resistance. 
The Soviet didn't show itself. There was nothing there for 
Krymov to do, but it was impossible to go any further because 
the line had been torn up. 

The newly-arrived units mingled with the Luga garrison. The 
local party and Soviet elements at once started most extensive 
agitation amongst the Kornilovites; while Krymov, out of 
touch with Headquarters, hesitated to liquidate them and begin 
on his own personal initiative a serious policy of iron rule. 
Amidst the inaction and agitation Kornilov' s Cossacks naturally 
became disorganized, and it was fairly simple to get at 

It goes without saying that their commanders, in so far as they 
had prepared them for the march, had cited riots started in 
Petersburg by the 'Bolshevik German agents'. But the Soviet 
agitators had documents to show that the rebel general was 
leading the 3rd Corps against the legitimate Government, and 
that there had been no riots in Petersburg. The complete 
bewilderment of the Kornilovites was inevitable. Decisive 


action, with no time to think) might have helped, but there were 
no instructions for that. 

The local Soviet authorities had quickly begun to raise their 
heads. Around 8 o'clock in the evening the local Ex. Com. 
assembled, together with delegates from the army units. It 
became clear that more echelons were on their way to Luga. 
It was decided to stop them at all costs, even by joining battle. 
It was already too late to liquidate now the Luga Soviet and 
garrison. It was no longer possible with the available echelons. 
Krymov was in quite an absurd position. 

So on the morning of the 2 8th the echelons of the Savage 
Division left Dno Station on another line. At 4 o'clock in the 
afternoon two echelons had got within forty-two versts of 
Petersburg, where the line was cut and timber-wagons had 
been overturned, A small reconnaissance detachment left the 
Kornilov train. From the other direction a special delegation of 
Muslims and Caucasians, specially sent by the Central Ex. 
Com., went to meet them, to influence their kinsmen in the 
Savage Division. The delegates suggested that they be taken 
to the echelons. The detachment willingly agreed, and gave 
their word of honour that those sent to parley should not be 
touched. En route they had time to talk, always on the same 
simple theme. 

But a group of Kornilovite officers who had left the train 
refused to allow the delegation to see the echelons. After long 
and stormy arguments the delegates had to go back, since it was 
already after 9 o'clock. But they had already done enough to 
undermine the morale of the detachment: the 'Savages' had 
been informed of the real state of affairs. Later they told of 
how they had been lured to Petersburg: first they had been told 
they were being taken north of Riga to repel the Germans ; 
after Dno they were assured that the Bolsheviks were slaughter- 
ing people in Petersburg, and that these traitors had to be 
repressed. To make things more convincing a provocateur 
threw a bomb at the echelon not far from Dno, which 
heightened morale. But simple information made it fall again. 
After August 28th, while Miliukov and Kornilov were asserting 
they had all the real power, that real power, in the form of an 
isolated Corps, was already coming apart at the seams. 

On the evening of the 28th all roads were barred to Kornilov 


not only by the destruction of all the railways, but also by men. 
The garrisons of all the nearby cities Gatchina, Pavlovsk, 
Tsarskoe, Krasny having been put under arms, were spread 
out in a fighting front on the railways and roads. Units of the 
capital garrison were stationed around Petersburg, mixed in 
with the workers' Red Guard. The Military Revolutionary 
Committee had called out a few units from Finland to reinforce 
them. I myself watched them arrive at the Finland Station, and 
mingled with the mob of soldiers; a part of them, apparently 
the smaller, were consciously going to the defence of the revolu- 
tion ; the others, with a businesslike look, were simply carrying 
out orders. The thinking proletarians were in the minority: 
most of them were rugged, clumsy country boys; but the 
minority served as a sufficient cement for the whole army. 

The Petersburg suburbs had been turned into an enormous 
camp. Smolny commissars visited the regiments. Intense, un- 
flagging activity continued day and night in the heart of 
Petersburg itself. The workers were being armed. Where had 
the weapons come from? From wherever they could be found. 
Nobody asked about legal principles. It was quite enough that 
the arming went on systematically under the direction of the 
Military Revolutionary Committee agents. Quite a lot of 
weapons were found, especially in the Putilov Factory, which 
gave them all to Smolny to arm the Red Guard. The official 
authorities of the General Staff, around the Kornilovite Savin- 
kov, grumbled, snorted, became indignant, and lost their tem- 
pers. But this had no importance; people had other things to 
think about. Not the slightest excesses were observed in 

It was quite clear that Kornilov's hours were numbered. On 
the morning of the sgth news came that he had been arrested 
with his staff. Then it was learned that Pskov, Vitebsk, and Dno 
were in the hands of troops loyal to the Government. And, 
finally, the advance on Petersburg had definitely been stopped. 

A favourable turn in the revolution, a thorough revenge for 
the July Days, and especially the strengthening of Bolshevism, 
as a result of the Kornilov uprising, not only were obvious to 
Lunacharsky, Tsereteli, and myself, but now, after the collapse 


of the adventure, had become obvious for Kerensky, Miliukov, 
and the whole reaction too. Now, in the eyes of the united pluto- 
cracy, this Bolshevik 'peril' came to the fore. 

While Kornilov was still at the gates, the newspapers were 
already making a bogey of the Bolsheviks, as once again seizing 
the streets, calling for battle and arming the workers. 'In the 
streets', Rech announced with horror, 'groups of armed workers 
have already appeared, frightening peaceful citizens. In the 
Soviet the Bolsheviks are energetically demanding the release of 
their arrested comrades. In connexion with all these facts every- 
one is profoundly convinced that as soon as General Kornilov's 
enterprise is definitely liquidated, the Bolsheviks, whom the 
Soviet majority has now once again ceased to consider traitors 
to the revolution, will use all their energy to force the Soviet to 
embark on the realization, even though partial, of the Bolshevik 

In these rather naive terms the general conjuncture is depicted 
not at all badly. But the conclusions? Obvious. Barrages, 
bastions, barricades must be built at once. There must be 
emergency reinforcement of the positions adopted after July, at 
the Moscow Conference, before the Kornilov revolt. How could 
this be done? The details would become clear later, but for the 
time being it was necessary at all costs to retain a maximum of 
power in the hands of the post-July, i.e., Kornilovite elements. 
And the Cadets, at the head of the stock-marketeers, business 
men, industrialists, and generals, pestered the remains of the 
Government, demanding power. They clamoured that they 
would not refuse to make this sacrifice for their country, and 
presented their conditions: (i) that representatives of the army 
should be invited to accept the military posts in the Cabinet, 
i.e., the generals should be given political power; (2) that 
representatives of commerce and industry (over and above the 
Cadets themselves) should be invited into the Cabinet; (3) that 
the Kornilov revolt should be crushed without destroying the 
unity of the army, i.e., without reprisals against the counter- 
revolutionary generals. It was all very consistent. 

Only a few small illustrations of the Directory's great deeds 
are warranted. 


The day after it began ruling a report appeared in the 
papers, as a 'rumour', that the Government was moving to 

This idea was far from new. The Petersburg proletariat was 
the most dangerous internal enemy during the revolution as 
well as before and after the fall of Riga the danger from with- 
out was a good pretext. It was essential for the all-national 
Government to get away from the Bolshevik city. During the 
State Conference Moscow, to be sure, showed that it was not 
benevolent either nevertheless . . . 

For some days the theme of evacuating the Government was 
harped on in every key. But on September yth the Moscow 
Soviet also passed a Bolshevik resolution [like one passed by the 
Petersburg Soviet on September ist]. The ancient capital was 
in the hands of the Bolsheviks too. There was no place to flee to. 
A denial of the 'rumours' followed : the Government was not 
preparing to go anywhere. 

But then the same goals were approached by other routes. 
The removal of excess manpower from Petersburg was taken up in 
detail for some weeks. If it was impossible to escape from the 
enemy was it also impossible to remove the enemy? 

This was a long-drawn-out business, but it didn't have much 
success. Led by the Bolsheviks, the workers, both in the 
Workers' Section and in the Government institutions, resisted 
firmly. The political lining of the project was swiftly and easily 
unmasked; its technical unfeasibility and economic incoherence 
were explained while incidentally a mass of spicy details about 
the ruses and speculations of the industrial and financial mag- 
nates was disclosed. No workers were removed, but this affair 
has its place among the good intentions of the Directory. 

On August 3ist, at Smolny, I learned that Palchinsky, the 
'Governor-General', had ordered two Petersburg newspapers, 
Rabochii (The Worker) and Novaya %/iizn, to be shut down. The 
first was the central organ of the biggest proletarian party, the 
Bolsheviks, and the other was a non-party independent organ 
that had been carrying on a consistent policy of internationalism 
and of proletarian class struggle. They had been shut down at the 
moment when the revolution was being defended from the 


attacks of Tsarist generals and Stock-Exchange magnates, at a 
moment of solidarity of the whole Soviet democracy. 

There had been no formal occasion, no apparent reason, for 
shutting down the papers. It was such a blatant and impudent 
affront that it brought protests from quite disinterested circles 
remote from the proletariat. It was an affront first to the whole 
Russian working class, which had rallied as one man to the 
defence of the revolution and of Kerensky himself, and secondly 
to the entire free, independent press. The next day even the 
Izjiestiya called this act of the Government, in black and white, a 
filthy provocation. Meanwhile it soon became clear that Mr. 
Palchinsky was simply the executor of instructions given by 
Kerensky. Wonderful ! 

On the morning of September ist I went to Smolny, prin- 
cipally on Novaya ^hi^n business. I was met on the stairs by 
Karakhan, who said by way of greeting: 'Aha! One of the best 
representatives of the petty-bourgeois democracy!' I goggled, 
but Karakhan laughed and passed on. The same thing happened 
when I met various other people. Upstairs it was cleared up : a 
copy oFRabochii was thrust into my hand, with a long article by 
Lenin devoted to me, which started off by calling me one of the 
'best representatives of the petty-bourgeois democracy'. My 
Novaya %hizn articles had given Lenin, in his hiding-place, an 
opportunity for some lofty theoretical constructions. 

At that time the article, entitled the 'Root of Evil 5 (a shot at 
me), did not seem of any special interest. But now, on the 
contrary, it seems to me instructive in the highest degree; per- 
haps I shall still return to these thoughts of the great revolu- 
tionary later on. 

In the small hall where the Bureau usually sat I saw 
Avksentiev, the Minister of the Interior, and decided to ques- 
tion him about the Novqya %hizn. Round him stood a group 
of people asking about what was going on in the Winter 

'And what d'you think of Kerensky's treachery?' one of the 
Left workers naively blurted out. 

Avksentiev, quite taken aback, was silent for a moment. 
'Treachery? I don't understand. How can there be any question 
of treachery? 5 

Avksentiev, from the Winter Palace, really failed to grasp 


something generally acknowledged in the working-class suburbs 
of the capital. 

He was also in complete confusion concerning the Novaya 
ZJd&i. Not only had he had no part in closing it down, but he 
had no information about it and was in no position to give any 
help. I ought to discuss it with the 'Governor-General', Pal- 
chinsky. I knew that myself. I was also being urged to do so 
on the paper. But I didn't want to. To go and talk to an am- 
biguous parvenu from the semi-Kornilovite Staff, an impotent 
dummy impudently playing at supreme command for me, a 
member of the Central Ex. Com. etc. was decidedly out of 
harmony with my dignity and self-esteem. I refused as long as 
possible. However, pressure was put on me, and I left Smolny 
for the General Staff where the so-called Governor-General was 
to be found. 

Philippovsky, the chairman of the Military Revolutionary 
Committee, and I went off together by car. And I was given one 
more opportunity to convince myself of the acute shift the 
Kornilov revolt had brought about in the minds of the 'loyal' 

'When you get to the Staff', said Philippovsky, 'you'll see the 
insolent vileness of the place. Talking to Palchinsky will get you 
nowhere. But why do you hesitate? After all, Rabochii has 
come out again. You just take 30 Kronstadt sailors and get the 
paper out tomorrow. They will be very willing to go, . . 
Anarchy? Inconsistency? The hell with all that! That's over 
with now. . .' 

At the Staff I was immediately plunged into an atmosphere of 
the most impudent bare-faced counter-revolution. First I went 
to the room of our Soviet delegation, where two or three of our 
Smolny military people were on duty. These were people from 
the majority, my opponents. And they surprised me by their 
friendly reception, which I explained by the fact that here, on 
the territory of the Winter Palace, they felt they were in a pro- 
foundly hostile atmosphere. Here these people, who were break- 
ing their necks on 'support and confidence' for the 'unrestricted' 
Coalition, were definitely thrown back on the united democratic 
front of Smolny. 

They were on 'duty' in the Staff; but they actually did nothing 
they simply grew depressed and spiteful at their impotence. 


Here on the terrain of the supreme legal authority they were 
ignored and even slighted just as this sham supreme authority 
was ignored and slighted throughout the territory of Russia. 

The rooms were noisy and disorderly, and somewhat faded 
since the revolution. Inscrutable, exquisitely polite cadet 
sentries. Long-forgotten, sulky, arrogantly obsequious, ancien- 
rtgime functionaries' faces. Glossy, brilliant officers slithering 
over the dubious parquet. Inquisitive glances of contempt were 
shot at me from all sides, as though I were some alien body. I 
mechanically drew myself up at once and assumed an extremely 
haughty air. I gave my name to the adjutant who had turned up 
at my elbow and asked that it be given to Palchinsky, refusing to 
explain the point of my visit. Much whispering; the looks 
multiplied. I was pointed out to the passing officers and 
generals by glances. . . But Palchinsky did not keep me waiting. 

Visibly aware of the fullness of his power, he was sitting at a 
desk, somewhat strangely placed in the front of a huge study. I 
sat down opposite. The conversation was extremely brief, but 
not without some characteristic features. 

'D'you intend to cancel your order to close down the Jiovqya 

*No, that order was actually given at the Premier's personal 
request. Your paper can't be tolerated. In these difficult hours 
it's carrying on its former bitter opposition to the State, and 
appealing for out-and-out disorders. . . And your methods! 
Somehow your paper is always emphasizing 

Palchinsky resorted to a gesture; his face showed unfeigned 
hatred of the newspaper which had hounded him personally 
quite often. . . However, there was no reason for me to main- 
tain the conversation on this level. 

'Well,' I said, 'after all, you know we can publish the same 
newspaper tomorrow under another name. And of course we 
will. Consequently if anyone loses it will be . . .' 

Palchinsky looked rather pleased at this. 

'Aha! You want to publish again? But have you read the 
decree which I signed specially for such a case? According to 
that decree you'd be liable . . .' 

I hadn't read any decree but in any case it was obviously 
futile to continue the conversation. I got up without hearing the 
end of the speech about the punishments lying in wait for me. 


Just then the 'phone rang, and Palchinsky, not without 
triumph, as though concluding an audience, told me: 'The 
Premier wants me to go to him/ 

We went out of the study at the same time and separated. 
When I had reported to the office the question stood thus: 
whether to publish the Novaya %hizri next day under the old 
name, or change the name for the same paper. In either case (in 
view of the new 'decree') an indispensable condition of publica- 
tion was an armed detachment at the printing-press. This could 
be got at Smolny without any difficulty. . . The person formally 
responsible, Gorky, was not in Petersburg. To act in a sharply 
revolutionary manner could only be done with his knowledge and 
consent. So it was decided to act more mildly to publish the 
paper in spite of the decree, but under another name. . . 

A concluding act of the Kornilov episode was taking place just 
then at Smolny. Going there around 8 o'clock in the evening I 
met Mar to v on the stairs. 

'Hurry,' he said, 'there's an interesting spectacle. The Savage 
Division has arrived with a confession of guilt. The Praesidium 
and others are receiving delegates from it.' 

The 'Bureau' was packed tight with Caucasian greatcoats, fur 
caps, felt cloaks, galoons, daggers, glossy black moustaches, 
astounded prawn-like eyes, and the smell of horses. This was the 
elite, the cream, headed by 'native' officers in all perhaps 500 
men. The crowd kept the deepest silence while the delegates of 
the individual units, with their caps in their hands, made 
broken speeches in the names of those who had sent them. On 
the whole they all said one and the same thing. In naively 
grandiloquent language they extolled the revolution and talked 
about their devotion to it to the tomb, to the last drop of their 
blood. Not one man in their units, not one of their people had 
gone or would go against the revolution and the revolutionary 
Government. A misunderstanding had taken place, dissipated 
by the simple establishment of the truth. The 'Savages' were the 
bearers of solemn vows. 

Not one of the speakers missed a chance of emphasizing their 
special pride, that the Russian Revolution was headed by their 
countrymen, who were now receiving them in the name of the 
'great' Soviet. Every one of them devoted a part of his speech, 
and sometimes a good half of it, to the * Chairman Chkheidze, 


and especially to Tseretell ; some of them even addressed him as 
*thou', calling him 'great leader . . .'. Tsereteli answered his 
countrymen in a very sympathetic speech. His characteristic 
oratorical quality, and the very poverty of his vocabulary, which 
to my mind reflected his entire intellectual range, was this time 
compensated for by an extraordinary warmth of tone. And of 
course Tsereteli also spoke not only as a Soviet leader; he wel- 
comed the 'Savages' also as Caucasians, as natives of those same 
hills he came from himself. 

Kamenev was also sitting at the Praesidium table, and behind 
him Ryazanov was standing in a group of Soviet people. I 
elbowed my way through the crowd and tried to persuade 
Kamenev that he absolutely must speak for the Bolsheviks. He 
too was aware that that was vital, but couldn't make up his 
mind. The 'Savages', now in contact with the Soviet and identi- 
fying it with the legitimate Government' and with the revolu- 
tion, still, as before, imagined that the Bolsheviks were evil-doers 
from some alien universe. They would have been ready to fling 
themselves on the Bolsheviks with their former violence even now. 
It was essential, then and there, while the air was being cleared, 
to expose the hollo wness of the bogey to them; they must be 
given a rudimentary understanding of the Bolshevik Party, 
which represented the interests of the working class; and it was 
especially necessary to emphasize the united Soviet front with 
the Bolsheviks in the face of the Kornilov revolt. As far as I 
recall, Kamenev didn't speak, but Ryazanov made a very 
emotional and explosive speech. 

This was how the Kornilov 'manifestation' was liquidated. 
The Winter Palace farce retained its previous character; as 
before, the bourgeoisie was advancing, attempting to strengthen 
its pre-Korailov and post-July positions, and convert its formal 
dictatorship into a real one. The Kerensky and Tereshchenko 
clique were aiming as before at liquidating any influence of the 
organized democracy and establishing the dictatorship of 
capital. . . While Smolny, the Star Chamber, and the Soviet 
majority were as before betraying the revolution into the hands 
of the bourgeoisie. 

Both the Winter Palace and Smolny retained their positions 


after the Kornilov campaign. But this was merely on the surface, 
and shouldn't conceal from us the essence of the matter. The 
enormous impetus from the Right given by Kornilov definitely 
disengaged the revolution from the atmosphere of the July 
reaction; it threw it far to the Left and gave it a big push 





THE course of the revolution had been defined even before the 
Kornilov rebellion, but this gave it a tremendous push forward. 
And the wretched floundering of the c reigning' capitulators and 
reactionaries merely formed the setting of a basic historical 
process the mass movement of the people. 

The news of the bourgeois coup profoundly stirred the surface 
and the depths of Russia. The entire organized democracy rose 
to its feet. All Soviet Russia bristled and took up arms, not only 
metaphorically but quite literally. Hundreds of thousands and 
millions of workers, soldiers, and peasants rose up in arms, for 
defence and for attack, against the class enemy. 

Their desire for a decisive battle grew irresistibly, hour by 
hour. Here there was class instinct, a small portion of class 
consciousness, and the influence of the ideas and organization of 
the gigantically growing Bolsheviks: but more than that there 
was weariness of war and other burdens; disappointment in the 
fruitlessness of the revolution, which up to then had given the 
masses of the people nothing; bitter resentment against the 
masters and the wealthy rulers; and a yearning to make use of 
the sovereignty that had been won. 

In any case, directly after the Kornilov upheaval the mood 
grew extraordinarily firm; and the formation of fighting 
columns correspondingly began at a feverish tempo against 
the Coalition and the bourgeoisie, against Kerensky and the 
Compromisers, against the official regime and its loyal servants, 
the traitors to the working class. 

In the provinces the Bolsheviks already controlled a great 
many Soviets. That is, the administrative authority, which 
moreover was quite unlimited, was virtually in the hands of 
Lenin's party. In such cities the bristling Soviets formed purely 
Bolshevik local Military Revolutionary Committees, which 


during the Kornilov revolt put out their sharp, though clumsy 
claws, and refused to pull them in again afterwards. 

At this time the Bolshevik centres revived their slogan of 'All 
Power to the Soviets!' It was a matter of course in these con- 
ditions for the general Kornilov situation to be reflected in the 
simple minds of the local Bolshevik leaders. Almost mechanic- 
ally, without any clear conception of the significance of their 
own actions, the local Bolshevik-Soviet organs began to 'annul' 
the official 'power' and make use of their opportunities on the 
widest possible scale. This, from the point of view of the 'Direc- 
tory' and all the loyal elements, was a vast new explosion of 
'anarchy'. But whatever the process is called, one thing is clear: 
after the Kornilov revolt Bolshevism began blossoming luxuri- 
antly and put forth deep roots throughout the country. 

Even before the Kornilov mutiny, before the fall of Riga and 
after the Moscow Conference, the entire bourgeois press had 
sounded the alarm about the Bolshevik peril, in connexion with 
'reliable reports' about forthcoming 'demonstrations' by the 
Bolsheviks. But that was a false alarm, with the object of putting 
public opinion on to a false scent and covering up the conspiracy 
of Headquarters. 

Now the press was once more full of panic and rage. But now 
this panic and rage were quite sincere. The peril was at hand. 
By now it was not only the central Soviets of the capital and the 
leaders of all the others that were in Lenin's hands that alone 
now had decisive importance. But the army in the field! And 
the garrisons in the rear! All this, after all, meant a brimming 
over of all real power and State sovereignty no longer even 
to the tame, enfeebled, and self-stultifying Soviets, but into the 
hands of the Bolshevik 'outsiders' firmly united with the masses. 
There was something to sound a real alarm about. 

The Kornilov incident, however, not only accelerated the 
Bolshevization of the Soviets and the worker-peasant masses, 
but was also sharply reflected in the current policies of Lenin's 
Soviet opponents. The Mensheviks and SRs who ruled in the 
Central Ex, Com. were just as far from Bolshevism as before; 
but they too had shifted their positions and swung further Left. 

Martov's group, the Menshevik-Internationalists, still had 


nothing in common with the central organ of the Mensheviks, 
but we had no ideological grounds for moving Left under the 
influence of the Kornilov revolt. Our fraction had already stood 
for a long time for a dictatorship of the Soviet democracy. We were 
divided from the Bolsheviks not so much by theory, as by 
practice, which made itself felt later on; we were divided not so 
much by slogans as by a profoundly different conception of their 
inner meaning. The Bolsheviks reserved that meaning for the 
use of the leadership and didn't carry it to the masses. This had 
to do not with Lenin's Leftism, but with his methods. The 
Kornilov episode could not graft these on to us. 

However, it did not pass without having had some effect on 
the Menshevik-Internationalists. They had in their hands the 
entire Menshevik organization of the capital: the Petersburg 
Committee consisted of Martovists only. The working-class 
districts, especially Basil Island, had long since insisted on a 
formal split with official Menshevism. The affair dragged on all 
summer, and you might say was sabotaged by the efforts of old 
and influential Mensheviks, close to Martov. But now Tsereteli 
& Co. became unendurable to many Petersburg leaders and to 
the solid working-class cadres in the districts. A mass exodus 
from the organization began. An example was set by Larin, who 
was followed by more than ten active figures. Almost all of 
them went directly over to the Bolsheviks. And then, in the 
first part of September, a split took place in the strongest of our 
working-class organizations, on Basil Island. At the time of the 
Democratic Conference practically the entire district went into 
Lenin's party. This provoked a ferment in other districts too, 
which was carried into the provinces. The crisis of Menshevism 
began all along the line and developed rapidly. 

It was reflected rather strongly in the political c new forma- 
tion' familiar to us in the party of the Novaya hizn people, 
officially the United Internationalists. This 'party' (of which the 
renowned Steklov was also a member from now on) began 
growing quite strongly at the expense of the Mensheviks, thanks 
to that irreplaceable medium^ a big and widely read newspaper. 
Our editorial board began intensifying its 'party 5 activity. And 
in the near future an All-Russian conference of provincial 
Novaya %hizn groups was being prepared. 


As for the Bolsheviks, they also had nowhere to shift Left- 
wards. Their business was simply to gain time to form the ranks 
of their army, which was growing by the hour. But after the 
Kornilov revolt it was possible for an attentive eye to observe 
that the Bolsheviks had again begun to anticipate, you might 
say touch, the power snatched away in July. Lenin and Zino- 
viev, taking advantage of their leisure, began deepening their 
current programme and tactics tactics of finished Jacobinism 
and a programme of general explosion, as an example to pro- 
letarian Europe. 

In one of the first numbers of Rabochii Put (Workers' Way) 
(which had replaced Rabochii^ Proletarii, and Pravda) y Lenin pro- 
posed a 'compromise'. Let the Menshevik-SR bloc, having driven 
out the bourgeoisie, set up a regime unconditionally responsible 
to the Soviets. The Bolsheviks would not create any obstacles on 
condition, first of all, of complete freedom of agitation, and 
secondly, of the transfer of all power to the local Soviets. It is 
quite clear that for the knights of the Coalition this was a 'com- 
promise 5 , but what Lenin's 'compromise 5 amounted to, on the 
other hand, is not particularly clear. The principal perspectives, 
however, that presented themselves to Lenin's mind are quite 
obvious. If the Bolshevik Party was now growing like a snowball 
and becoming a decisive force, Lenin was assured of a majority 
in the Congress of Soviets in the very near future. Apart from 
'freedom of agitation' this would be furthered by the entire 
objective course of events, and especially by the inevitable 
marking time to please the bourgeoisie that the Mensheviks 
and SRs would undertake if they agreed to the 'compromise 3 . 
Then it would be possible to drive the ruling bloc out of power 
(or even further) without resorting to the risky experiments of 
June loth and July 4th. Lenin's party would have 'full power' 
painlessly and safely. Well, and what would it do? We are 
familiar with its programme in general. But now, in Rabochii Put 
Zinoviev filled it out and made it concrete : One of the first 
steps of any Government which had broken with the bourgeoisie 
would be to refuse to pay any debts contracted in connexion 
with the war. The second step would be the partial expropria- 
tion of the 'richest people 5 in favour of the State. 

This was unquestionably highly alluring. And note in the 
absence of an elementary economic programme, and given the 


systematic replacement of Marxist concepts by anarchist 
slogans ('organized seizure', 'workers' control', etc.) what 
terms are used by Citizen Zinoviev: Rich people! This is both 
scientific and statesmanlike, and it can be understood by any 
lumpen-proletarian. This is why the Bolsheviks' correct theore- 
tical formulas about the worker-peasant dictatorship could not 
draw into Lenin's party the extreme Left Marxist elements. 
During those days I personally used to say that if it hadn't been 
for these persistent suspicious and nasty notes in their 'ideology' 
then I too might have entered the Bolshevik Party. But I didn't, 
and a good thing too. . . 



THE 'Democratic Conference 5 should have opened on the isth, 
but was postponed until September 1 4th, just a month after the 
Moscow State Conference. It proceeded on its futile, tiresome 
business : a debate on whether we should have a Coalition or a 
purely democratic Government. Not one of the speeches de- 
serves to be expounded here. Everything had been heard or read 

We were back in the old post-July, pre-Kornilov situation. A 
fourth, irresponsible Coalition was revived, which once again 
confirmed the formal dictatorship of the bourgeoisie. This 
'sovereign' bourgeois regime was formed exactly two months 
after the Third Coalition, one month after the Kornilov coup 
and one month before but let's not anticipate, events. I shall 
simply recall something that apparently does not require any 
special explanation. The dictatorship of the Stock Exchange 
was formally evident, though as before this was nothing but a 
sham. But, unlike the last time, when some attributes of power 
were in the hands of the friends and accomplices of the bourgeois 
'dictators' now the whole power was in the hands of their 
known class enemies. In July and August the petty-bourgeois 
Soviet had still preserved some fragments of its power; but now 
all the power, and the Soviets into the bargain, had gone over 
to the Bolsheviks. The whole situation was more absurd and 
intolerable than before. There was no state power, and no 

This was so clear that even the yellow bourgeois press did not 
exult. The new Coalition was greeted without enthusiasm. The 
Right wing of the democracy demonstratively, though not con- 
vincingly, rejoiced over its infant. To make up for this the Left, 
Internationalist section set to work at once and, without giving 
it a breathing spell, took a direct line toward the overthrow of 
the new 'Government'. 

* * * 

Trotsky had been released from prison on September 4th, just 
as suddenly and causelessly as he had been arrested on July 23rd. 


Now he became chairman of the Petersburg Soviet; there was a 
hurricane of applause when he appeared. Everything had 
changed ! Since the April Days the Soviet had gone against the 
revolution and been the mainstay of the bourgeoisie. For a 
whole half-year it had served as bulwark against the people's 
movement and their wrath. It had been the Praetorian Guard 
of the Star Chamber, at the disposal of Kerensky and TseretelL 
Now it was once again a revolutionary army inseparable from 
the popular masses of Petersburg. It was now Trotsky's guard, 
ready at a sign from him to storm the Coalition, the Winter 
Palace and all the citadels of the bourgeoisie. The Soviet, re- 
united with the masses, had once again recovered its enormous 

The conjuncture, however, was no longer the same as it had 
been before. Trotsky's Soviet did not act like an acknowledged 
State power carrying on a revolution. It did not act by methods 
of opposition, pressure, and 'liaison'. It was a latent potential 
revolutionary force, gathering together the elements for a 
general explosion. This hidden potentiality blinded the 
wretched sham 'rulers', the man in the street, and the old Soviet 
majority. But that didn't alter anything: the success of the forth- 
coming explosion was assured. Nothing could withstand the 
new destructive power of the Soviet; the only question was 
where Trotsky would lead it. For what did it contain but 
destruction? Well, we shall live and learn. 

In his first speech as chairman Trotsky said that actually 
he had not taken Chkheidze's place, but, on the contrary, 
Chkheidze had been occupying his (Trotsky's) place: in the 
1905 Revolution the chairman of the Petersburg Soviet was 
Trotsky. Now, however, the perspectives were different; the new 
Praesidium had to form part of a new upsurge of the revolution, 
which would lead to victory. . . 

But then he added a few words, not thinking that in time he 
would have to disregard them and create a theory to justify 
their opposite. He said: 

'We are all party people, and we shall have to cross swords 
more than once. But we shall guide the work of the Petersburg 
Soviet in a spirit of justice and complete independence for all 
fractions; the hand of the Praesidium will never oppress the 


Heavens! What liberal views! What self-mockery! But the 
point is that about three years later, while exchanging re- 
miniscences with me, Trotsky, thinking back to this moment, 
exclaimed dreamily: 

'What a happy time! 5 

Yes, wonderful! Perhaps not one person in the world, not 
excluding himself, will ever recall Trotsky's rule with such 

At the session on September 25th the Soviet passed this 
resolution on the new Government by an enormous majority: 
'The new Government will go down in the history of the 
revolution as the Government of the civil war. The Soviet 
declares : "We, the workers and the garrison of Petersburg, re- 
fuse to support the Government of bourgeois autocracy and 
counter-revolutionary violence. We express the unshakeable 
conviction that the new Government will meet with a 
single response from the entire revolutionary democracy: 
'Resign!' 5 " 

Such was the unusual greeting of the Petersburg Soviet to the 
new Government. 

As we went down the Smolny stairs, discussing the new 
events, someone called up from below: *Eh, Volodarsky, where 
is it tomorrow?' 

'Tomorrow?' answered Volodarsky, who was going out with 
me, 'at the Patronny plant.' 

Yes, the Bolsheviks were working stubbornly and without let- 
up. They were among the masses, at the factory-benches, every 
day without a pause. Tens of speakers, big and little, were 
speaking in Petersburg, at the factories and in the barracks, 
every blessed day. For the masses they had become their own 
people, because they were always there, taking the lead in details 
as well as in the most important affairs of the factory or 
barracks. They had become the sole hope, if only because since 
they were one with the masses they were lavish with promises 
and sweet though simple fairy tales. The mass lived and breathed 
together with the Bolsheviks. It was in the hands of the party of 
Lenin and Trotsky. 

* * * 

Around this time new elections on a proportional basis took 
place for the Petersburg Ex. Com. Of the forty-four members 


elected two-thirds were Bolsheviks. The Mensheviks numbered 
five in all, whereas our group, the Menshevik-Internationalists 
the group that had made up the fundamental core of the first 
Ex. Com., which had begun the revolution did not get a single 

This may have been distressing for us, but it was not at all 

It was not actually because we had to take the blame for 
official Menshevism, with which the Martov group had not yet 
conclusively broken, or because the group still didn't have a 
literary organ, a basic instrument of agitation. Nor was it, 
finally, that we, the leaders, had abandoned work in the 
Soviet, hardly showed ourselves in Smolny and were separated 
from its rank-and-file. 

The cause was something basic: our position, at least in its 
positive part, was superfluous for the masses. In its negative, 
critical part we Martovites and Novaya %hizn people were in 
accord with the Bolsheviks. In the arena of the struggle going on 
at that time against the Coalition and the bourgeoisie we stood 
at their side. We did not fuse with them because a number of 
features of the positive creative strength of Bolshevism, as well 
as its methods of agitation, revealed to us its future hateful 
countenance. It was based on an unbridled, anarchistic, petty- 
bourgeois elemental explosion, which was only smothered by 
Bolshevism when once again it was not followed by the masses. 
We were afraid of this elemental explosion. 

But the masses were not afraid of it, for they could neither 
perceive it nor appreciate its significance. 

Our Marxist theories were incomprehensible and irritating to 
the masses, which had just barely tasted the blessing of free 
political development. Our logical proletarian class ideology 
was useless and offensive to the workers and soldiers of our 
petty-bourgeois country. The disappointed, weary and hungry 
masses swept over our heads from SR-opportunist philistinism 
to the devastating fury of Bolshevism. Our proletarian Marxist 
outlook did not find a place for itself amidst the turbulent 
elements. Our 'interstitial' group was easily pounded to bits 
by the gigantic oncoming billows of the imminent civil 

In the new Petersburg Ex. Com., where we had once played a 


leading role, we now did not get a single seat. However, in the 
kaleidoscope of the dizzying events, the masses not only did not 
remember, they did not know about our role in the first period 
of the revolution. Only the leaders knew about it, and, evidently 
in remembrance of the first magnificent weeks, the Bolshevik 
Ex. Com. at its first session resolved to co-opt our group with a 
consulting voice: Sokolov, Kapelinsky, Sokolovsky, our leader 
Martov, I think Steklov, and myself. 

During those days I remember one session of our Martovite 
'centre' devoted to the elections for the Constituent Assembly. 
We had gathered in a place that was new to me on the third 
floor of Smolny, near the galleries giving on to the big hall. I 
raised the question of a bloc with the Bolsheviks. There were 
some sympathetic responses, but Martov rebelled outright and 
said, among other things: 

*At the present moment a drift to the Bolsheviks is absolutely 
out of place. Now the revolution is endangered not by the 
Right, but by the Left I 9 

Martov may have shown great acumen here, but I must admit 
that to me personally, after the Kornilov coup, the Democratic 
Conference, and the restoration of the bourgeois dictatorship, a 
movement from the Left did not seem a peril but salvation. 

As far as I recall, the question of a bloc with the Bolsheviks 
was never finally settled: it came up against the consideration 
that under no circumstances would the Bolsheviks agree to 
enter a bloc with us ; they were too strong and 'self-sufficient' for 
that, and were carrying on their preparation for the elections 
too energetically, having already put forward everywhere 
prepared lists of candidates, headed in most instances by 
Trotsky himself. 

I don't think it superfluous to remark that my differences 
with Martov at this time had become more or less systematic. 
Two tendencies had begun to reveal themselves in our group. 
Martov had with him the group of old Menshevik emigres 
Semkovsky, Astrov, Martynov who had gravitated to the old 
core of the party. But on the Left, together with me, were the 
Petersburgers and especially the active workers of the old Ex. 
Com. Martov rather jealously guarded his influence and the 


representation of the entire organization by elements close to 

On the day, I think, when we discussed the Constituent 
Assembly, I went to Smolny after working in the evening on the 
newspaper. I wanted to see Trotsky and 'feel out the ground' 
concerning an electoral bloc of the Bolsheviks and the Martov- 
ites. Trotsky was at Smolny, but at a meeting in the Bureau, at 
a council of 'Elders' of the forthcoming Pre-Parliament. 1 

I went into the committee-room to see Trotsky, my hated face 
shocking all these 'Elders' so familiar to us. Didn't this Sukhanov 
want to put something indiscreet into his paper? The Bolsheviks 
(Trotsky and Kamenev) were sitting to one side, in their usual 
places to the right of the chairman. Trotsky looked a bit 
different from usual, in a long grey overcoat and spectacles with 
metal rims instead of pince-nez. 

He spoke politely of the bloc with the Menshevik-Inter- 
nationalists, but with such reserve that the outcome was clear. 
I sat down at his side to listen to what the 'Elders' were saying 
and hear Tsereteli's philippics. Even the Stolypin Duma under 
Rasputin's boot seemed the ideal of an all-powerful Parliament, 
filled with grandeur, compared with the Pre-Parliament, that 
unspeakable product of stupidity and treachery. 

I recall this evening very well. I had never yet suffered such a 
sharp and unendurable feeling of dejection and shame: to what 
a point they had led the great revolution! I remember that I 
began choking, partly with anger, and partly with something 
else, that blocked up my throat. 

'What's going on?' I said, naively and 'unconsciously' turning 
to Trotsky. 

But Trotsky merely laughed his soundless laugh with his 
mouth half-open. At the time I didn't understand his in- 
difference, but actually it was obvious. For Trotsky, after all, all 
questions had by then been settled. He was already living on the 
other side, and as for what was being done on this side that 
didn't concern him. Perhaps the worse it was, the better. 

I returned to the Novaya %hiw in the Shpalerny to get out the 

1 Decided on at the Democratic Conference. Sukhanov uses the word 'Elders' 
ironically. (Ed.) 


paper. At this time we were implacably and with unusual 
energy bombarding Kerensky, the Konovalovs, and their whole 
beneficent Government. There was an excellent atmosphere on 
the paper, and more and more attention was being paid us 
by both enemies and friends. 

In general, as far as I recall, I derived some satisfaction from 
the paper, more than previously. But I also remember the 
physical strain. I was still living on the Karpovka, and the end- 
less trips there in the damp Petersburg autumn nights after 
publication now come to mind quite differently from the en- 
chanting walks through the streets of the Petersburg Side into 
the roseate, carolling mornings of that unforgettable spring. . . 

'Disorders' were taking on absolutely unendurable, really 
menacing proportions in Russia. Anarchy was really getting 
under way. The city and the countryside were both in revolt. 
The first was demanding bread, the second land. The new 
Coalition was met with hunger riots and savage pogroms 
throughout Russia. I happen to have in front of me reports of 
such riots in Zhitomir, Kharkov, Tambov, Orel, Odessa, etc., 
etc. Troops were sent everywhere, Cossacks whenever possible. 
There were repressions, shootings, martial law. But nothing 
helped. Petersburg was quiet; it simply hungered and waited. 

But the peasants, finally losing patience, began settling the 
agrarian question at first hand by their own methods. It was 
impossible not to give them land : it was impossible to torture them 
any longer by uncertainty. It was impossible to make speeches to 
them about the 'regulation of rural relations without the 
destruction of the existing forms of land-holding. . .' 

But this was the essence of the Coalition. And the peasants began 
acting on their own. Estates were divided up and tilled, herds 
were slaughtered and driven off, country-houses were destroyed 
and set on fire, arms were seized, stores were plundered and 
destroyed, trees and orchards were chopped down, there was 
murder and violence. These were no longer Excesses', as they had 
been in May and June. It was a mass phenomenon tidal waves 
heaving and billowing throughout the country. 

Worst of all, however, was the position in the field army. 
This was as before the root and core of the entire situation. 


Famine was assuming horrifying proportions at the front. It was 
obvious to any honest observer that our army, even though it 
was pinning down 130 German divisions on the Eastern front, 
could not hold out the winter, nor even the autumn. 

As early as September 2ist at a Petersburg Soviet session an 
officer who had been at the front made a speech saying: 

"The soldiers in the trenches don't want either freedom or land 
now. They want only one thing now the end of the war. 
Whatever you may say here, the soldiers are not going to fight 
any more. . .' 

This caused a sensation even in the Bolshevik Soviet. Ex- 
clamations were heard: 'Even the Bolsheviks don't say that!' 
But the officer, no Bolshevik, calmly waited, conscious of duty 

'We don't know and we don't care what the Bolsheviks say. 
I'm reporting what I know and what the soldiers have sent me to 
tell you. 5 

It was impossible to go on like this. This 'Government' had to 
be torn out by the roots. I harped on this over and over again, 
every day, in the paper. And I was right. 

But how could such a situation be ended? Martov said, 
during those days : 'I know only two methods of forming a 
Government: either the citizen's gesture of throwing his ballot 
into the voting urn, or the citizen's gesture of loading his rifle.' 
It happened that the last Coalition had been created by a third 
method, but now we were confronted by the two first. In the 
immediate future one of these was going to decide matters. 

The Pre-Parliament was going to open powerless, sickly, 
alien, and repugnant to every revolutionary principle. But 
compared with the comic-opera Government it was a de facto 
power. It could have decided the fate of the 'ruling' Coalition by 
the first method the parliamentary method. The results were 
another question. But there could be no doubt as to the 

And if not? Then the capitulationism of Smolny and the 
provocative attitude of the Winter Palace would do their work. 
The real democracy of Russia, after all, had already loaded its 



THE official title conferred on the Pre-Parliament was: 'The 
Provisional Council of the Russian Republic'. The opening was 
scheduled for October yth. Premises were looked for. Something 
fitting was wanted not too primitive or provincial, for the 
Government itself and the most respectable social elements (not 
workers or soldiers) would have to be there often. But not too 
ceremonial or official either, for this wasn't the State Duma or 
any plenipotentiary organ. The Rech thought the Smolny 
Institute would be a very suitable location. And as a matter of 
fact, it was quite free: only the Central Ex. Com. and the 
Petersburg Soviet, which should never have seen the light of 
day, were there. But could the Bolsheviks be cleared out of 
Smolny. . .? The row of dots meant: c Oh, for Kornilov! 3 But 
suitable premises couldn't be found, and the Marian Palace had 
to do. 

The 'democratic 5 majority consisted of 308 people, of whom 
sixty-six were Bolsheviks, about sixty official Mensheviks, and 
1 20 SRs, about twenty of whom were Leftist. Then there were 
some Co-operators in the 'democracy', who included extreme 
Right Mensheviks and SRs. 

Our fraction, the Menshevik-Internationalists, numbered 
about thirty. We had never had so many ; with such a 'mass' we 
could at any rate produce enough of an uproar, or start verbal 

At the beginning the bourgeois representatives demanded 120 
seats, but then they increased that to 150. Then I think they 
did some more bargaining, of no particular interest to us. They, 
like the democracy, had heaped up the most improbable social 
classes, strata, and groups, and the unlikeliest combinations. 
Well-to-do peasants were affiliated with propertied elements. . . 
There were about seventy-five Cadets. The majority of the rest, 
sent by every possible organization of industrialists and land- 
owners, was more Right: old Octobrists and Nationalists. For 
some reason they were still stubbornly fighting against formally 
pouring their streamlets into the Cadet sea. But in practice they 


acknowledged Cadet hegemony and had the same programme : 
the iron dictatorship of the plutocracy. 

But there were also 'intellectuals* amongst the propertied 
elements, for instance the 'academic' delegation. Others were 
divided up this way: the Society of Journalists was represented 
in the democracy, while the Society of Editors got a place 
amongst the propertied elements. 

This Pre-Parliament was officially powerless, a concoction 
unworthy of the revolution and pathetic as an institution. But it 
had an interesting quality, unlike perhaps most real parlia- 
ments. Its composition was exceptionally brilliant. It concen- 
trated within itself, indeed, the flower of the nation. It owed this 
precisely to the unprecedented method of its selection. All the 
political parties and other associations sent their best people, with- 
out subjecting them to the risk of losing their place in an 
election to the popular but insignificant hero of some provincial 
ant-hill. Hence there were rather few people who did not have 
an ail-Russian reputation. And all the 'names' were included. 
All the party Central Committees were represented in the Pre- 
Parliament in corpore; exceptions were few, accidental and un- 
important. This in itself proclaimed the concentration of all the 
country's political strength and the quintessence of all its political 

Some individuals were absent. Plekhanov, old, ill, and 
ignored by events, wasn't there; he had played no part in the 
revolution. Nor was Lenin there: our powerful and forthright 
Government kept renewing its orders for his arrest every week; 
as before he was hiding 'underground', though unlike Plekhanov 
he played a part, a very powerful part, in current events. But 
Lenin's place was successfully taken by Trotsky. The time had 
now passed when in the Bolshevik Party, as in the First Inter- 
national, after the Thunderer himself there was nothing for a 
long, long, long time. Now Trotsky was side by side with him. 
He was quite different, and speaking generally quite unfitted to 
replace Lenin, but, I'm inclined to think, he was no less impor- 
tant a man, whom Lenin could not have replaced either, and 
without whom the forthcoming events could not have come 

There was one other who was absent Tsereteli. He had 
gone away to the Caucasus to rest for 'a few weeks'. He was 


not to return politically. His role was played out, finished. He 
had botched and ruined as much as one able man could. And 
he had gone away. . . Enough of him; I shall not speak of him 
again it has all been said. 1 

On October yth at 5 o'clock, amidst rain and slush, Kerensky 
opened the Pre-Parliament. This was no mere democratic con- 
ference! This time Kerensky wasn't late. Also, something un- 
heard of in the revolution happened: the Pre-Parliament 
opened on time. No one could have foreseen that. And that, it 
was said, was why there were not very many people in the hall 
and it was just as boring and dreary in the Marian Palace as in 
the streets of Petersburg. 

It was quite late, and happening for some reason to go in by a 
way I didn't know, I wandered about for a long time through 
the endless corridors and rooms of the Palace. I came out some- 
how into the Press Gallery, from which I heard the end of the 
speech from the Throne. The head of the Government and the 
State was speaking in hollowly official but loftily patriotic tones. 
I don't remember, nor can I extract from the newspaper 
accounts, one living concrete idea. In any case the entire speech 
was full of the *war dangers' under the impact of the latest 
events at the front and the news, just received, that the Germans 
were threatening Reval. . . But really, all the political interest 
of the opening of the Pre-Parliament revolved around the 

Their whole large fraction arrived late, almost at the same 
time as I did. They had had an important and stormy meeting 
at Smolny, which had only just ended. They had been making a 
final decision on what to do about the Pre-Parliament: stay or 
go? After a first session, at which the question was left hanging 
in the air, they had had a bitter dispute. This, as a piquant 
incident in Smolny circles, was of great interest. The opinions of 
the Bolsheviks were almost evenly divided, and it wasn't known 
which way the majority would go. It was reported that Lenin 
was demanding that they should leave. Trotsky also defended 

1 After the October Revolution Tsereteli was one of the leaders of the Menshevik 
Caucasian Republic, after the repression of which by the Soviet Government he 
emigrated, eventually to New York City. (Ed.) 


this position with great vigour. Ryazanov and Kamenev were 
fighting against it. The Right wing was demanding that the 
rupture with the Pre-Parliament be postponed at least until the 
moment the Pre-Parliament exposed itself on some issue, for 
instance refused to make some important decision in the in- 
terests of the working class. They said the rupture would other- 
wise not be understood by the people. But Trotsky, for whom all 
questions were settled, insisted that there should be no obscuri- 
ties, that the boats should be conclusively and publicly burnt. 
Let both hostile armies see and understand! 

In an interval, a sensational rumour circulated in the corri- 
dors of the Marian Palace: Trotsky had won by a majority of 
two or three votes, and the Bolsheviks would leave the Pre- 
Parliament immediately. That was the least of it ; the Menshevik 
and SR leaders, very disturbed, were saying that before they left 
the Bolsheviks would create a tremendous row. The most un- 
likely rumours passed from mouth to mouth. A kind of panic 
began. One of the officials was told off to make private en- 
quiries of the Bolsheviks. 

'Nonsense!' answered Trotsky, standing not far off from me 
in the rotunda adjoining the meeting hall, 'nonsense, a few 
pistol-shots. . .' 

But Trotsky looked rather nervous in anticipation of the 
shots. The Right Bolsheviks, around Ryazanov, were grumbling 
angrily. This whole affair was very disagreeable to me, and I 
didn't go over to Trotsky. 

At the end of the session Trotsky was given the floor for an 
emergency statement. There was a sensation in the hall. For 
most of the bourgeois the famous leader of the bandits, idlers, 
and hooligans was still a novelty. 

'The officially stated aim of the Democratic Conference', 
Trotsky began, 'was the elimination of the personal regime that 
fed the Kornilov revolt, and the creation of a responsible 
Government capable of liquidating the war and promoting the 
convocation of a Constituent Assembly at the appointed time. 
Meanwhile, behind the back of the Democratic Conference, 
directly contrary results have been achieved by way of the back- 
stage deals of Citizen Kerensky, the Cadets, and the SR and 
Menshevik leaders. A Government has been formed in and 
around which both avowed and clandestine Kornilovites play 


the leading role* The non-responsibility of this Government [to 
the Council of the Republic] has been formally established, The 
Council of the Russian Republic has been declared a consultant 
body. Propertied elements have come into the Provisional 
Council in numbers to which, as all elections throughout the 
country indicate, they are not entitled. Despite this it is precisely 
the Cadet Party that has made the Government independent of 
the Council of the Republic. Propertied elements will un- 
doubtedly occupy a much less favourable position in the Con- 
stituent Assembly than in the Provisional Council. The Govern- 
ment cannot help but be responsible to the Constituent As- 
sembly. If the propertied elements were really preparing for the 
Constituent Assembly in a month and a half, they would have 
no grounds for defending the non-responsibility of the Govern- 
ment now. The whole point is that the bourgeois classes have set 
themselves the goal of preventing the Constituent Assembly , . .' 

There was an uproar. Shouts from the Right: 'Lies!' Trotsky 
tried to show complete indifference, and didn't raise his voice. 

'In the fields of industry, agriculture, and supply the policy of 
the Government and the possessing classes is aggravating the 
havoc produced by the war. The propertied classes, who pro- 
voked the uprising, are now moving to crush it and are openly 
steering a course for the bony hand of hunger, which is expected 
to strangle the revolution and the Constituent Assembly first of 

'Nor is foreign policy any less criminal. After forty months of 
war the capital is threatened by mortal danger. In response to 
this a plan has been put forward for the transfer of the Govern- 
ment to Moscow. The idea of surrendering the revolutionary 
capital to German troops does not arouse the slightest indigna- 
tion amongst the bourgeois classes; on the contrary it is 
accepted as a natural link in the general policy that is supposed 
to help them in their counter-revolutionary conspiracy.' 

The uproar grew worse. The patriots leaped from their seats 
and wouldn't allow Trotsky to go on speaking. Shouts about 
Germany, the sealed car and so on. One shout stood out: 
'Bastard!' I make the point now that throughout the revolution, 
both before and after the Bolsheviks, neither in the Tauride, 
nor in Smolny, however stormy the sessions and however tense the 
atmosphere, there was never once such an outcry at the meetings 


of our rank-and-file. But it was enough for us to come into 
the fine society of the Marian Palace, the company of polished 
lawyers, professors, financiers, landowners, and generals, for the 
tavern atmosphere of the bourgeois State Duma to revive 

The chairman called the meeting to order. Trotsky was 
standing there as though none of this were any concern of his, 
and finally found it possible to go on. 

'We, the Bolshevik fraction of the Social-Democratic Party, 
declare that with this Government of national treachery and 
with this "Council" we ' 

The uproar took on an obviously hopeless character. The 
majority of the Right got to their feet with the obvious intention 
of stopping the speech. The chairman called the speaker to 
order. Trotsky, beginning to lose his temper, and speaking by 
now through the hubbub, finished : 

' that we have nothing in common with them. We have 
nothing in common with that murderous intrigue against the 
people which is being conducted behind the official scenes. We 
refuse to shield it either directly or indirectly for a single day. 
In leaving the Provisional Council we call upon the workers, 
soldiers, and peasants of all Russia to be stalwart and courageous. 
Petersburg is in danger, the revolution is in danger, the nation is 
in danger. The Government is intensifying that danger. The 
ruling parties are increasing it. Only the nation can save itself 
and the country. We appeal to the people: Long live an im- 
mediate, honourable democratic peace, all power to the 
Soviets, all land to the people, long live the Constituent 
Assembly! 5 

Trotsky got off the platform, and a few dozen men of the 
extreme Left left the hall amidst hubbub and shouting. The 
majority gazed after them disdainfully, waving their hands 
good riddance! The majority saw nothing: after all, this was 
only sixty specimens of a peculiar breed of wild beast who were 
leaving the society of mankind. Just the Bolsheviks alone. Good 
riddance! It was calmer and more agreeable without them. 

But we, the closest neighbours of the Bolsheviks and their 
companions-in-arms, sat there utterly depressed by all that had 


Despite all the power and brilliance of his speech Trotsky, as 
we see, was far from having proved the necessity of the break. He 
had not proved it because he didn't wish to finish what he had 
to say. But from their point of view the ones who left were 
logical enough. If they were on the other side of this entire order, 
then there was really nothing for them to do in the Pre- 

But this was just how the matter must be understood: if there 
was nothing for them to do there and they left, consequently 
they were on the other side. There was only one road for them out 
of the Pre-Parliament to the barricades. If they cast away the 
'electoral ballot', they must take up the rifle. And that, indeed, is 
what happened. But the majority didn't understand this, didn't 
see it, didn't believe it. We, their neighbours and companions- 
in-arms, did understand it. But we thought it wrong. 

'Just the Bolsheviks alone.' For the Pre-Parliamentary 
majority they were a handful who could be liquidated by repres- 
sion. For us they were an overwhelming section of a proletariat 
straining into battle and nourished on class hatred, and also of 
the tormented soldiery, and of the peasant depths that had 
despaired of the revolution. They were a vast landslide of people. 
They were millions. Repress them? And with our comic-opera 
Government ! 

For us Internationalists the question was not posed on that 
plane at all. It was not a question of its being impossible to 
liquidate the Bolsheviks. The point was that the proletariat, the 
soldiery, and the peasant rank-and-file, led by the Bolshevik 
Party and finding themselves outside the existing 'political order', 
were now taking up arms against the entire old world, to raze 
the millennial bourgeois system to the ground. By the strength 
of their own proletarian vanguard party alone, surrounded by 
millions of casual and unreliable fellow-travellers, they wanted 
to create a new unheard-of proletarian state and an unpre- 
cedented social and economic order. They wanted to do this in 
our ruined, half-wild, petty-bourgeois, economically-shattered 
country. They wanted to do this against the organized petty- 
bourgeois elements, after putting an end to the united front of 
the democracy for ever. 

This was a fateful mistake. It was a disastrous programme and 
tactic for the revolution. 


A new revolution was admissible, an uprising was legitimate, 
the liquidation of the existing regime was indispensable. But all 
this was so on condition of a united democratic front. That meant 
an armed struggle only against big capital and imperialism. It 
meant only the liquidation of the political and economic rule of 
the bourgeoisie and the landowners. It did not mean the defini- 
tive destruction of the old State and the rejection of its heritage. 
It meant the plenipotentiary participation of the petty-bour- 
geois, Menshevik-SR groups in the construction of a new State 
together with the proletariat and the peasantry. These were all 
unconditionally essential elements of the new society that was 
springing up on the ruins of the empire of the exploiting 
minority. And in the conditions of our revolution this was the 
only correct formulation of the problem. 

But the leaders of the Bolshevik Party were hostile to all this. 
They formulated the basic task of the revolution incorrectly. And 
they continually carried on, not a policy of alliance, but the 
contrary policy of rupture, split, and mutual isolation. 

The Bolshevik departure from the Pre-Parliament was an 
important step. In flinging aside their voting papers the 
Bolsheviks, in the eyes of all those with eyes to see, were taking 
up their rifles. They had no chance of arousing the sympathy of 
the Mensheviks and SRs by this demonstration and every 
chance of repelling them far away. The Bolshevik leaders were 
heading straight for this and calculating on it. 

What we Internationalists were depressed by was not that the 
Bolsheviks had taken to the barricades to make a legitimate 
revolution. It was not the burning of the boats that disconcerted 
us. What was depressing was that with the declaration of civil 
war the democratic front was almost hopelessly disrupted by 
the Bolsheviks, and that they were turning their weapons against 
elements vital to themselves and to the realization of the tasks of 
the revolution as correctly formulated. 

Well, and what would have happened if the Bolsheviks had 
stayed in the Pre-Parliament? What would have happened if in 
liquidating Kerenskyism they had shown an inclination for a 
rapprochement with the old Soviet bloc, as had happened in the 
short period of the liquidation of the Kornilov revolt? 

Let us note two circumstances. First of all the new Coalition, 
like every product of 'Kerenskyism 3 , was quite unfit for survival. 


Its fate was pre-determined by the whole conjuncture, and 
especially by the fact that the real power was already in the 
hands of the Bolsheviks. Secondly, the Bolsheviks would have 
been a very strong inspirational minority in the Pre-Parliament; 
together with the Internationalists and the allied SRs this 
minority could have amounted to 30 per cent; if the situation 
ever became more acute and there was a split in theMenshevik- 
SR bloc (as had happened in Smolny during the Kornilov 
revolt), the majority of the Pre-Parliament would have been on 
the side of the former Soviet Left. 

All these abstract calculations would have been significant if 
the Bolsheviks hadn't been Bolsheviks. 

Rumours of the internal collapse of the Coalition kept grow- 
ing stronger and stronger. The loyal elements were beginning to 
lose patience. . . And they were egged on by various factors 
from all sides. 

On the one hand a Congress of Soviets was already assembling 
at Smolny. Here the Bolsheviks were completely sovereign; 
the Congress was a rather serious factor, while the intentions of 
the Bolsheviks in any case promised unpleasantness. 

On another side the Cossacks, who had been attracting atten- 
tion for a long time, began to allow themselves absolutely in- 
famous conduct: in Kaluga, on the 20th, a Cossack detachment 
had besieged the local Soviet and demanded its surrender, but 
when the surrender took place, nevertheless opened fire and 
killed a few members of the Soviet. Kaluga today, Poltava 
tomorrow, Moscow the day after. . . 

From a third side, the internal collapse of the Coalition was 
progressing before everybody's eyes. 

The official Menshevik leaders, widely at variance with each 
other, had been trying up to now to contrive a Left-Centre bloc, 
cutting off the Martovites and the Left SRs on the Left, and 
finding alliances on the Right. Now the orientation had 
changed. Instead of the Left-Centre bloc Dan was fussing about 
trying to concoct a Left bloc. He was stretching out a hand to 
Martov. That meant he was ready to sacrifice the Centre and 
was calculating on finally drawing the SRs into the Opposition. 

But we didn't have time to finish our debates. The Left Centre 


was creeping further and further towards the Left with every 
step. Events were dragging along behind them the hopeless 
interstitial ordinary people who had no class backbone drag- 
ging along those who would not go along of their own free will. 
We didn't have time. . . Do you miss my point, Reader? Then 
Pll try to explain it all to you now, as well as I can. 

January-July 1921. 

Part VI 

October 3rd-November ist 



IN the softly glittering halls of the Marian Palace there was no 
revolution at all. It was all in Smolny, in the working-class 
sections of the capital and in the provincial towns and districts. 
And that revolution was racing down an inclined plane to a 
denouement. . . The Bolsheviks had definitely embarked on a 
violent revolutionary destruction of the Coalition and its re- 
placement by Tower to the Soviets'. They had embraced the 
cause of a coup d'etat. 

We shall have to deal with three groups of problems, for every 
coup d'etat has, in the first place, its ideology or philosophy; 
secondly, its politics; and thirdly, its strategy. Perhaps this can 
be expressed more concretely and less pretentiously : we shall be 
dealing with the programme of the overturn, its tactics, and its 

From the last days of September on, the salient points of 
spoken and written Bolshevik propaganda were the following. 
First of all, this last Coalition of ours was a gang of usurpers, 
who had seized autocratic power through private agreement 
among a couple of dozen men. This was the incontestable and 
shameful truth which the Bolsheviks strove to make every 
worker and soldier aware of. Apart from a resolution of the 
Petersburg Soviet refusing support to the newly born Coalition, 
a wave of mass-meetings swiftly poured over both capitals and 
the whole country; hundreds of thousands of workers and 
soldiers protested against the very fact of the formation of a 
new bourgeois Government, and demanded power for the 

Moreover, the existing Government was not only a gang of 
usurpers; it was a Government of counter-revolutionary rebels. 
That Kornilov was such a rebel everyone knew: it had been 
officially announced. But by now, after all, the whole affair had 
been sufficiently exposed. Kerensky had been in league with 
Kornilov, and he himself had summoned the Third Corps to 
destroy the Soviets, and agreed to enter Kornilov's Cabinet. 
The Bolsheviks had raised the question of the Kornilov revolt; 


and the Central Ex. Com. Bureau had supported them; but 
the Ministers didn't even consider explaining themselves. 

Further it followed from this that the existing Government, 
Kornilovite by nature, could not help but prepare a new 
Kornilov revolt. Any day now it might launch a decisive on- 
slaught on the revolution, and then good-bye to everything 
that had been won! It was necessary to defend oneself. 

On the other hand, this Government of conspirators and 
counter-revolutionaries was allowing itself a base mockery of 
the working class, its press, and its representatives. In the 
Kornilov affair exactly five men had been arrested, who were in 
the custody of their own guard of honour, and could escape 
when they saw fit, while the real gaols were full of Bolsheviks on 
hunger-strike, incapable of obtaining either their release or any 
coherent charges. 

The shameful attempt at evacuating the Government to 
Moscow was taken up with special fury. The plotters were 
betraying the revolutionary capital! Incapable of defending it, 
they did not even want to do so. . . The Germans were con- 
tinuing their naval operations, the sailors were staking their 
lives, while the Allies, not lifting a finger to help, were covering 
our heroes with dirt. And the Government? It was not 
only fleeing to Moscow, but preparing the surrender of 

The new Government had issued orders to clear the revolu- 
tionary troops out of the capital; these orders were also directed 
to the same aims. Things were serious at the front, and reinforce- 
ments were needed. That we believed. But was there even one 
worker or soldier who would believe that Kerensky was removing 
these troops without any political end in view? No, after the 
Kornilov revolt it would have been stupid and criminal to 
believe this. We would all go to the front. But we would go when 
we were sure that this would close the road to the Germans and 
not open it to the counter-revolution. . . 

But in that case what about defence? There was only one 
solution: we must take it into our own hands. We were ready to 
defend the revolution from the Germans, as our brothers, the 
sailor-heroes and the Lettish Rifles, had defended it. But we could 
not say to the garrison : put yourselves in the hands of Kerensky, 
who will turn you against the working class. The situation was 


absurd and unendurable. Yes and the only way of changing it 
was to liquidate the Government of national betrayal. . . 

The following fact was characteristic both of the state of 
defence and of the mood of the politically active masses. Our 
' comniander-in-chief ' addressed the sailors in his usual tactless 
shout: the fleet was becoming disorganized, it was unreliable, 
it must expiate its crimes against the revolution, and so on. In 
reply the Second Congress of Sailors of the Baltic Fleet pro- 
duced this resolution: 6 . . . to demand from the Central Ex. 
Com. of the Workers, Soldiers, and Peasants the instant removal 
from the ranks of the Provisional Government of the Socialist, 
with and without quotation-marks, the anti-political adventurer 
Kerensky, as a blackguard who, by his shameless political black- 
mail on behalf of the bourgeoisie, is destroying the great revolu- 
tion and with it the whole revolutionary people. As for you, 
Kerensky-Bonaparte, traitor to the revolution, we send you our 
curses, while our comrades are being slain by bullets and shells 
or drowning at sea, calling for the defence of the revolution, 
and while we all as one man are prepared to lay down our lives 
for liberty, land, and freedom, and perish in battle against the 
enemy without, or on the barricades against the enemy within, 
calling down curses on you, Kerensky, and your gang. . .' 

A document undoubtedly not without a certain eloquence. 

These were the principal points of Bolshevik agitation during 
those weeks. This agitation met with no opposition whatsoever. 
But there was one special point that had to be concentrated on. 
That the Coalition was unendurable and criminal had been 
proved a million times, and was clear without proofs. But that 
wasn't enough. . . If it was impossible to endure the Coalition, 
then let the Constituent Assembly assemble sooia that would 
provide salvation, and peace, bread, and land. So the worker, 
the peasant, and the soldier might think. That was where all 
their hopes lay. 

This would not do. Faith in the Constituent Assembly had to 
be destroyed. That is, it had to be proved that under a Coalition 
it was impossible. It was just this the Bolsheviks were directing 
their special attention to. 

The bourgeoisie and the Coalition were undermining the 
Constituent Assembly! Not one Bolshevik speech, resolution, 
statement, or newspaper article could dispense with this. It 


might have been said that their whole agitation was being 
carried on under the banner of the Constituent Assembly and its 

To those conversant but not specially conversant with 
affairs, this might seem somewhat odd. Lenin, after all, only an 
hour after his arrival, had attacked the parliamentary republic 
and rejected any Government except that of the Soviets. Nor 
did the slogan of 'Soviet power', which had later become the 
cornerstone of Bolshevism, suggest that the Soviet Government 
would be a Provisional Government. The Constituent Assembly 
seemed definitely excluded by all this. . . 

But no the Bolshevik Party put the matter otherwise : down 
with the Coalition and long live a Soviet regime in the name of 
the Constituent Assembly ! 

I have noted in its place that it was actually not the Bolshevik 
Party as a whole that had to keep quiet about the Constituent 
Assembly, but merely its head, Lenin, who did not show his 
cards within the confines of the Bolshevik Party. Lenin conspired 
away from the party, and the party, not putting two and two 
together, accepted the Constituent Assembly at its face value 
and sponsored it whole-heartedly. That was how it had been at 
first. . . But that could hardly have continued until now? What 
sort of Asiatic perfidy on the part of the leader was this? And 
boundless innocence of the party's 'officer-corps' ? 

There was here, of course, a substantial degree of both one 
and the other. But that didn't exhaust the matter. The point 
was that Lenin, after first giving the Constituent Assembly a 
kick, and then deciding to keep a diplomatic silence about it, had 
soon arrived at the idea of exploiting it. No sooner thought of 
than done. The Constituent Assembly began to conceal Tower 
to the Soviets'. Lenin not only did not keep silent but shouted 
with the party; in his central organ he would write about how 
'to ensure the success of the Constituent Assembly'. 

But could there really be people in the world who could fail to 
remember Lenin's thrust at the parliamentary republic and the 
Constituent Assembly? What could be done about that now, 
before fighting began? Very simple: 'Our opponents maintain 
that Lenin was against the Constituent Assembly and for a 
Soviet republic. This assertion is obviously false. Lenin was 
never "against" the Constituent Assembly. From the very first 


months he, together with our whole party, has exposed the 
Provisional Government for delaying the Constituent Assembly. 
Events have now demonstrated that these accusations of ours 
were right/ That was all, as explained by the Rabochii Put. 

Well, but how about a new constitutional theory? For after 
all it's impossible to count indefinitely on everyone's being as 
trusting as a child and as short-sighted as a sheep. It was 
necessary, after all, to have some kind of 'theory', to conceal the 
secrets of diplomacy and plaster over the yawning logical 
vacuum. Of course ! And such a theory was created just as 
easily as the malicious inventions about Lenin's position were 
refuted* 'A Soviet republic/ said this theory, c far from excludes 
the Constituent Assembly, just as, conversely, a Constituent 
Assembly republic doesn't preclude the existence of Soviets. If 
our revolution is destined to conquer, then in practice we shall 
see a combined type of Soviet republic and Constituent 
Assembly.' And that was all. 

This article in the Rabochii Put of 4 October was not signed 
by the modest author. But oh, gallant Zinoviev! I should 
recognize your inimitable boldness of thought, your celebrated 
courage in defending difficult positions a thousand miles away! 
It is true that besides a central newspaper the Bolshevik Party 
in those days had a draft programme. It was impossible to find in 
it any signs of a 'combined type' ; what it contained was simply 
the Soviet worker-peasant dictatorship, which excluded the bour- 
geois-parliamentary Constituent Assembly. But that doesn't 
matter. Everyone understands that a theoretical document for 
oneself is one thing and a practical idea for general use is 

In all this both the perfidy of the shepherd and the innocence 
of the sheep are evident. But we see that both the one and the 
other, in spite of our initial impressions, have here not a 
crudely primitive but, on the contrary, a highly qualified 
character. As we see, it's not a question here of a comparatively 
minor and private deception aimed at one's own friends and 
companions-in-arms, or of a simple childish readiness to be 
deceived. Here the deception has a general mass character and 
a national scale. Mass slaughter on a national scale, of course, is 
not a reprehensible action, but gallantry and heroism. Decep- 
tion in such circumstances is called diplomacy or tactics, or 


politics. For the subject of the deception it must be considered 
in the aspect of statesmanship sui generis and for its objects 
in the aspect of intellectual solidarity and party discipline 

also sui generis. 

* * * 

So 'Down with the Coalition' and 'Long live a Soviet 
regime' in the name of the Constituent Assembly ! Only when 
the Soviets have the power will the fate of the Constituent 
Assembly be in safe hands. Well, and what else will the power of 
the Soviets give us? 

A Soviet Government, it was said, is not only the guarantor of 
the Constituent Assembly, but also its mainstay. First of all, 
'capitalists and landowners might not only jeer at the Consti- 
tuent Assembly, but also dismiss it, as the Tsar dismissed the 
first two Dumas'. The Soviets wouldn't allow that. Secondly, the 
Soviets would constitute an apparatus for putting into practice 
the plans of the Constituent Assembly. 'Suppose that on 
November 30th it decrees the confiscation of all land-holdings. 
What could the municipal and rural local authorities do for the 
effective realization of this demand? Practically nothing. But 
what could the Soviets do? Everything. 5 (Rabochii Put, 
3 October.) 

Further: it goes without saying that the Soviets were called to 
realize everything the masses could no longer live without, and 
which the Coalition couldn't give them: peace, land, and bread. 
This was so simple and obvious, and filled all the articles and 
speeches of the Bolsheviks at this time so naturally, that there is 
no need to dwell on it. It was simply the other side of the 
struggle against 'Kerenskyism'. 

The question could only lie in exactly how and when the 
Soviets would give land, peace, and bread. Here the question of 
land was extremely clear: the Soviets would give the land to the 
peasants immediately. The question of peace was not so clear-cut: 
a Soviet Government would at once propose peace to the coun- 
tries at war, appealing to the ruined and destroyed nations; 
with full confidence it could be expected that we would obtain a 
just and general peace. 

But the question of bread was completely vague : it was an 
involved complex of ideas (collecting actual bread from the 
countryside, raising real wages, and so on) and this demanded a 


system of correspondingly various measures ; but in the process 
of agitation this complexity was not without its advantages, since 
it allowed everyone to chatter on and on without saying any- 
thing. . . For in the last analysis, after all, to go into details and 
explain just how and what would be done, was not at all 
obligatory. In the given circumstances it was quite enough to 
show the party's firm intention of realizing the most vital 
demands of the people. 

But it was quite clear that all these conditions and the whole 
character of the campaign of agitation made irresistibly for the 
most unprincipled demagogy, which the Bolsheviks, inflaming the 
atmosphere, plunged into. Their demagogy was brazen and 
unbounded. It had nothing to do with science, elementary 
truth, or common sense. And it was not only the rank-and-file 
agitators, who lacked all these, who proved themselves in the 
demagogic arena. The leaders behaved with the same primitive 
lack of self-restraint. 

Lenin, by 'giving the peasants the land at once 3 and preaching 
seizure, was in fact subscribing to anarchist tactics and an SR 
programme. Both one and the other were pleasing and under- 
standable to the peasant, who was far from being a fanatical 
upholder of Marxism. But both one and the other had been 
railed at night and day by the Marxist Lenin for at least fifteen 
years. Now this was flung aside. To please the peasants and be 
understood by them Lenin became both an anarchist and an SR. 

Trotsky too in one breath resolved all supply difficulties with 
the utmost boldness. The Soviet Government would send out a 
soldier, a sailor, and a working girl (at dozens of meetings for 
some reason Trotsky said 'working girl') into every village; 
they would inspect the stores of the well-to-do, leave them as 
much as they needed and take the rest gratis for the city or the 
front. . . The Petersburg working masses hailed these promises 
with enthusiasm. 

It is obvious that all these 'confiscations' and Seizures without 
payment' scattered left and right with regal lavishness were 
captivating and irresistible in the mouths of the friends of the 
people. Nothing could withstand them. Hence the spontaneous 
and irresistible development of this method of agitation. . . 
There are rich and poor; the rich have a lot of everything, the 
poor have nothing; everything will belong to the poor, will be 


divided amongst the have-nots. This is the message of your own 
working-class party, followed by the millions of poor of the city 
and country, the sole party fighting against the rich and their 
Government for land, peace, and bread. 

All this flooded the whole of Russia in endless waves during 
the final weeks. Every day all this was listened to by hundreds 
of thousands of hungry, tired, and angry people. This was an 
inalienable element of Bolshevik agitation, even though it 
wasn't the official programme. 

But a delicate question arises was there any Socialism in this 
'platform 5 ? No. I maintain that in a direct form the Bolsheviks 
never harped to the masses on Socialism as the object and task 
of a Soviet Government; nor did the masses, in supporting the 
Bolsheviks, even think about Socialism. But in an indirect^ con- 
fused form the problem of 'immediate Socialism' was never- 
theless posed. In general the central leaders of Bolshevism were 
evidently firmly bent on carrying out a Socialist experiment: 
this was demanded by the logic of the situation. But once again 
before the eyes of the masses they did not dot any of their Ts. 

Socialism is, of course, primarily an economic problem. I have 
indicated that the Bolsheviks were weak on this. Neither Lenin, 
elaborating the programme of his party, nor Trotsky, doing the 
same for the former Interdistrictites, appreciated the signi- 
ficance of an economic programme as such, or gave it priority; 
indeed, -they simply almost forgot about it. Even now, in 
October, the new Bolshevik convert, Larin, loudly complained 
that in place of an economic programme the Bolsheviks had 
'almost a vacuum'. (Rabochii Put, 8 October.) He was asked to 
fill it as an emergency measure. He proposed the cancellation of 
the national debt, compulsory collective contracts, the exten- 
sion of working-class legislation to domestic servants, annual 
vacations for workers, and much more, all very fine. But there is 
no question here of Socialism proper. The Soviet Government is 
based on the existence of private property. 

If we turn to the official statement read by Trotsky at the 
Democratic Conference, the economic programme of a Soviet 
Government is expounded as follows: only a Soviet Govern- 
ment is 'capable of introducing a maximum of planning into 


the economy at present disintegrating, helping the peasantry 
and rural workers to exploit the now available means of agri- 
cultural production, limiting profits, establishing wages and, in 
conformity with the regulation of production, assuring real 
labour discipline, based on the autonomy of the workers and 
their centralized control over industry 5 . This is all very obscure 
and insubstantial, but is quite alien to utopianism. The state- 
ment is far from placing Socialism on the agenda of a Soviet 
regime. In essence its content does not go beyond the limits of 
the May i6th economic programme which was accepted by the 
old Ex. Com. to be carried out by a Coalition Government. 
The Coalition could not, of course, carry it out, for this pro- 
gramme undermined at its root the economic hegemony of 
capital. For Konovalov that was the same as Socialism, but 
essentially it was a far cry from it. 

This was the economic platform of the Bolshevik Party on the 
eve of its decisive coup. 

Nevertheless there was a point in it that has special signi- 
ficance for us. This was the workers'" control over production. This 
was a fighting point at all proletarian meetings. As a specifically 
working-class demand it was figured equally with land. And, if 
you like, it was here and only here that the Bolshevik leaders 
approached a public declaration of Socialist principles. How- 
ever, this 'Socialism' was extremely timid and modest: in their 
theory the Bolsheviks, while moving along a different road, went 
no further than the Right Menshevik Grohman, with his pro- 
gramme of the 'regulation 5 or "organization of national, economy 
and labour'. 

So the masses were politically prepared for the liquidation of 
Kerenskyism and ready for a Soviet regime. They were awaiting 
the summons to technical action, but speaking generally were 
not thinking about it at all. They were being told: 'Let's wait 
for what the Congress 1 decides on October soth or 25th'. 

I detected a different note for the first time that same 
October yth, the day the Bolsheviks left the Pre-Parliament. 
But this was no more than a note a suggestive one to be sure, 
but not as yet burning the smallest boat or binding anyone to 
anything. In a stormy article devoted by Lenin to a peasant up- 
rising we read: 'There's not the slightest doubt that if the 

1 i.e., the Second All-Russian Soviet Congress. (Ed.) 


Bolsheviks allowed themselves to fall into the snare of constitu- 
tional illusions, "faith" in the convocation of the Constituent 
Assembly and the "expectation" of a congress of Soviets, etc. 
there is no doubt that such Bolsheviks would be miserable 
traitors to the proletarian cause. 3 

Lenin considered that a peasant uprising embracing all 
Russia would decide matters. 'To allow the crushing of a 
peasant uprising at such a moment means falsifying the elections 
to the Constituent Assembly even more, and more grossly, than 
the Democratic Conference and the Pre-Parliament were 
falsified. The whole future of the Russian Revolution is at stake. 
The whole future of the international working-class revolution is 
at stake. The crisis is at hand.' 

Trotsky, leading his army out of the Pre-Parliament, had 
definitely set course towards a violent overthrow. Lenin had 
declared that it was criminal to wait for the Congress of Soviets. 
As yet nothing more. The masses were still in the same position. 
But it was clear that within the party the question of how had 
been placed next in order. It ought to be decided at once. 

On October roth it was posed by the supreme authority. The 
Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party assembled in full 
strength. . . Oh, the novel jokes of the merry muse of History ! 
This supreme and decisive session took place in my own home, 
still at the Karpovka. But without my knowledge. As before I 
would very often spend the night somewhere near the office or 
Smolny, that is about eight versts from the Karpovka. This time 
special steps were taken to have me spend the night away from 
home: at least my wife knew my intentions exactly and gave 
me a piece of friendly, disinterested advice not to incon- 
venience myself by a further journey after work. In any case the 
lofty assemblage had a complete guarantee against my arrival. 

For such a cardinal session not only did people come from 
Moscow, but the Lord of Hosts himself, with his henchman, crept 
out of the underground. Lenin appeared in a wig, but without 
his beard. Zinoviev appeared with a beard, but without his 
shock of hair. The meeting went on for about ten hours, until 
about 3 o'clock in the morning. Half the exalted guests had to 
sleep somehow in the Karpovka. 

However, I don't actually know much about the exact course 
of this meeting, or even about its outcome. It's clear that the 


question of an uprising was put. There was evidently also a 
question about its relation to the Soviet Congress: should it 
depend on the time and circumstances of the Congress? The 
question of the revolt was decided in the affirmative, and 
evidently it was decided to raise it as quickly as possible 
depending on the course of its speedy technical preparation and 
on the most favourable external conditions. It was possible to 
confront the Congress of Soviets with an accomplished fact; 
political conditions allowed of this, and there could be no doubt 
of the support and sanction of the Congress. But aside from that, 
because of weighty considerations the Congress ought to be con- 
fronted by an accomplished fact. For it was, after all, clear to 
the enemy camp that the Congress would decide to take power 
and at least make an attempt to realize that decision. It would be 
absurd for a Government which was not prepared to yield 
voluntarily to the Bolsheviks to await that moment. It was 
clear that it would attempt to forestall the action of the Con- 
gress, doing everything possible either to forbid or to disperse or 
shoot down the Congress. If an uprising had been decided on, 
then it was absurd to wait for this to happen. Common sense 
demanded that the people in their turn forestall the Govern- 
ment's offensive. This was elementary tactics and strategy. 

It was decided to begin the uprising as quickly as possible, 
depending on circumstances but not on the Congress. 

In the Central Committee of the party this decision was 
accepted by all but two votes. The dissenters were the same as 
in June Kamenev and Zinoviev. . . This of course could not 
confound the Thunderer. He had never been confounded even 
when he remained practically alone in his own party; now he 
had the majority with him. And, besides the majority, Trotsky 
was with Lenin. I don't know to what degree Lenin himself 
valued this fact, but for the course of events it had incalculable 
significance. I have no doubt of that. . . The 'cronies' were for 
the time being left to their own opinion, but without any atten- 
tion from the others. The order was accepted and matters 
followed their course. 

The decision put events on a new footing. The boats had been 
burnt. Now direct preparations for an uprising were started 


politically and technically. It is clear that an uprising against 
the Coalition, and its destruction, were incumbent on the 
Petersburg proletariat and garrison. Hence the official agency 
of the uprising was the Petersburg Soviet. The political and 
technical work had to proceed from there. 

But it goes without saying that the decision of the party 
Central Committee was not brought to the knowledge either of 
the Petersburg masses or of the Soviet. The political change was 
expressed only in a few additions to the earlier agitation. 
'Further delay is impossible. 5 'It's time to pass from words to 
deeds. 5 The moment has come when the revolutionary slogan of 
"All Power to the Soviets" must be realized at last. 5 Etc. 

It was clear that an uprising was necessary. c Action 5 was plainly 
imminent. The proletariat and the garrison had to be ready at 
any minute to obey revolutionary orders. . . Such was the new 
political phase of the movement. 

It may be asked whether the Petersburg proletariat and 
garrison was ready for dynamic action and bloody sacrifice, 
just as it was for the acceptance of a Soviet Government and all 
its blessings? Was it capable not only of passing a menacing 
resolution, but also of really going into battle? Was it burning, 
not only with hate, but with a real longing for revolutionary 
exploits? Was its mood firm? 

There are various answers to all this. It is quite fundamental. 
Not because the outcome of the movement depended on it the 
success of the overturn was assured because there was nothing to 
oppose it. But the mood of the masses who were to act is 
important because in the eyes of history this is what determined 
the character of the overturn. 

Personally, as a witness and participant in the events, I have 
no single answer. There were various moods. The only common 
ones were hatred for 'Kerenskyism 5 , fatigue, rage, and a desire 
for peace, bread, and land. . . During just these weeks I, more 
than ever before, made the rounds of the factories and spoke to 
the 'masses 5 . I had the definite impression that the mood was 
ambiguous, conditional. The Coalition and the status quo could 
no longer be endured ; but whether it was necessary to come out, 
or necessary to pass through an uprising, was not clearly known. 
Many well remembered the July Days. What if once again 
nothing came of it? 


I'm speaking of the mood of the average rank-and-filer. That 
doesn't mean that the Bolsheviks could not have assembled, 
summoned, and launched into battle as many revolutionary 
battalions as they wanted. On the contrary: they had a sufficient 
number of advanced, active cadres ready for sacrifice. The 
most reliable were the workers and their Red Guard; then the 
sailors. There was enough fighting material. But good-quality 
fighting material made up a small part of the Bolshevik follow- 
ing at this time. On the average, the mood was strongly 
Bolshevik, but rather slack and wavering with respect to action 
and a rising. 

So, after the decision of the Bolshevik centre on October loth, 
the masses were told that it was time to pass from words to 
deeds. For the time being they were told nothing else. This was 
quite natural. The main results of the vote on October loth 
could not be spoken of. Policy might remain almost the same; 
but now it had to yield its primary position to strategy. The 
direct preparation of the uprising now had to pass to the Staff. 
It was impossible to work out dispositions before the whole 
army, before the eyes of the enemy. The enemy was to be left in 
the dark, while the army stood at the ready, working up steam. 

During those days, in view of the acute situation at the front, 
discussions were going on everywhere about defence; on 
October gth, before the decision of the party Central Com- 
mittee, this question was raised in the Petersburg Ex. Com. also. 
It was, of course, provoked primarily by political considerations. 
And the discussion itself was tied up with the question of 
evacuating troops from the capital. It was said that the Staff 
demands for troops to be sent to the front had, as always, a 
political motivation, and that in general it was impossible to 
trust the Government in matters of defence. Consequently it 
was necessary first of all to organize control over the Staff and 
determine the evacuation of troops as circumstances demanded, 
and secondly to take the defence question into one's own hands 
and create a special organ for it a committee of revolutionary 

The Mensheviks and SRs talked of the dual power and the 
inappropriateness of forming a Staff of one's own. But seeing the 


weakness of their position they gave in and themselves proposed 
a resolution which was accepted by the Bolshevik Ex. Com., 
demanding, in the main: (i) the creation of a board of repre- 
sentatives of the Petersburg Soviet and the Central Committee 
of the Fleet, to be informed of the evacuation of any given unit; 
(2) extraordinary measures for the purging of the General Staff; 
and (3) the formation of a committee of revolutionary defence, 
which would clarify the question of the defence of Petersburg. 

That same day the question was taken before the plenum of 
the Petersburg Soviet. However, the Ex. Com. resolution pro- 
posed by the Mensheviks was turned down. A Bolshevik resolu- 
tion was passed, which spoke of the need for a Soviet Govern- 
ment that would propose immediate peace; of the necessity, 
before the conclusion of peace, of taking the defence of the 
capital and the whole country into the hands of the Soviets; 
and of the necessity of arming the workers for defence. And the 
Ex. Com., the Soldiers' Section and the garrison deputies were 
charged with the organization of a revolutionary committee of 
defence which 'would concentrate in its own hands all data 
relevant to the defence of Petersburg'. 

'All data' rather happily put. But nevertheless we see that 
things were still going along under the banner of military defence. 
All this was before the Bolshevik Central Committee session at my flat. 

On October isth a new meeting of the Ex. Com. was held to 
execute the Soviet resolution. It was a closed meeting. In a 
matter such as defence (sic !) the Bolsheviks thought it necessary 
to violate the principles they were still continuing to fight for. 
But this wasn't secret diplomacy it was a plot. However, it 
must be kept in mind that it could not be fully realized; in 
this closed session there could be no freedom of discussion, for 
there were a few 'Social-traitors' in the Ex. Com. So one thing 
was said and another meant. Nor did the published decision, 
as a matter of fact, have the same inward meaning as appeared 
to the world in the lines below. 

This was the decision: 

C A Military Revolutionary Committee is being formed by the 
Petersburg Ex. Com. and is its organ. It is composed of: the 
Praesidiums of the plenum and of the Soldiers' Section of the 
Soviet, representatives of the Central Committee of the Fleet, 
the Railwaymen's Union, the Union of Post Office and Tele- 


graph Employees, the Factory Committees, the Trade Unions, 
representatives of the party military organizations, the military 
section of the Central Ex. Com., and the workers' militia, as 
well as individuals whose presence is thought necessary. The 
Military Revolutionary Committee's first tasks are the alloca- 
tion of combat and auxiliary forces, necessary for the defence of 
the capital and not subject to evacuation; then the registration 
of the personal composition of the garrison of Petersburg and 
its suburbs, and also the registration of supply sources; the 
elaboration of a working plan for the defence of the city; 
measures of protection against pogroms and desertions; the 
maintenance of revolutionary discipline amongst the working 
class and soldiery. . .' 

We can see that none of this is honest or legitimate co-operation 
in defence. It is, in essence, the illegal elimination from defence 
affairs of the legitimate' agencies of the Government and the 
transference of all their functions to the Petersburg Soviet. But 
that was the least of it: under the banner of defence against the 
foreign enemy the Ex. Com. concentrated in its own hands all 
military power in the capital and the provinces. That is, it 
officially arrogated to itself all real power whatever. 

In fact, of course, this power had long belonged to the 
Bolshevik Soviet. Does this mean that the decrees of October 
1 2th made the overturn an accomplished fact? No, it doesn't. 
But only because the Bolsheviks themselves said that there was 
nothing in it but co-operation for external defence. They gave 
such explanations right down to October 23rd. 

But the Mensheviks, in the closed session of the Ex. Com., 
revealed the true meaning of these decrees. The Military 
Revolutionary Committee was an apparatus for the overthrow 
of the Government and the seizure of power by the Bolsheviks. 

And on October i6th this 'motion' was presented to the Soviet 
plenum for approval. There were heated protests from a 
Menshevik orator, whose fraction, in this meeting of a thousand 
men, numbered fifty people. 

c The Bolsheviks won't answer the straight question whether 
or not they are preparing a coup. This is either cowardice or lack 
of confidence in their own strength' (laughter in the audience). 


'But the projected Military Revolutionary Committee is nothing 
but a revolutionary staff for the seizure of power. . . We have 
many local reports that the masses are out of sympathy with a 
coup. There is a 'Provisional Military Committee' attached to 
the Central Ex. Com., whose object is real co-operation in the 
defence of the northern front. The Petersburg Soviet ought to 
send its representatives there and reject the proposal for a 
military revolutionary committee.' 

Trotsky got up. In this gathering his task was not especially 

c The Menshevik representative is preoccupied with whether 
the Bolsheviks are preparing an armed demonstration. In 
whose name has he asked this question: in the name of Keren- 
sky, the counter-intelligence, the Secret Police, or some other 

This was a tumultuous success. But even without this the 
resolution on the Military Revolutionary Committee would 
have been passed by an overwhelming majority of the Soviet 
that session of October i6th. 

The Military Revolutionary Committee was created and 
rapidly got to work. Both the Mensheviks and the Right SRs 
refused to go into it. The Left SRs did enter it. Its principal 
figures were Trotsky, Lashevich, then the leaders of the Bol- 
shevik Military Organization, Podvoisky and Nevsky, Yurenev, 
Mekhonoshin, the Left SR Lazimir, and others, until then less 

The camp of the bourgeoisie and the interstitial groups grew 
alarmed. Outcries and complaints about 'proposed Bolshevik 
coups* had actually never ceased. They were permanent. But 
now, apart from 'rumours', they had real grounds. The general 
atmosphere was so oppressive that the country and the masses 
were plainly stifling. The crisis was manifest to everyone. The 
movement of the masses was clearly overflowing its banks. The 
workers' districts of Petersburg were boiling over before every- 
one's eyes. Only the Bolsheviks were listened to. At the famous 
Cirque Moderne, where Trotsky, Lunacharsky, and Volodarsky 
appeared, you kept seeing endless queues and throngs of people 
for whom there was no longer room in the enormous crowded 


circus. Agitators were calling for deeds, not words, and pro- 
mising the imminent achievement of a Soviet regime. And in 
Smolny, finally, they were working on the creation of a new and 
more than suspect organ of 'defence'. . . There were real 
grounds for alarm. 

It was not that they were afraid of a Bolshevik victory. It was 
something else. Amongst the Right, in the bourgeois news- 
papers, this was the basis of an agitation in favour of immediate 
decisive repressions, in favour of the assumption of the 'attri- 
butes of a real Government' (let us recall Guchkov's golden 
words!), that is, in favour of a new Kornilov revolt. As for the 
SRs and Mensheviks, the press alarm meant a real fear not 
of the success of the Bolshevik enterprise, but of new July 

Besides the written and spoken agitation there appeared a 
series of appeals in the names of parties, a few institutions, and, 
of course, the Central Ex. Com. These appeals were all in the 
same spirit: street action under a separate Bolshevik banner 
would play into the hands of the counter-revolution. One such 
appeal was also published by a group of Martovites over a few 
of our signatures. On October i8th Gorky came out with a 
flaming article: 'Rumours are being spread more and more 
insistently about a Bolshevik coup. The repellent scenes of 
July 3~5th may be repeated. That is once again lorries tightly 
packed with people holding rifles and revolvers in hands 
trembling with fear, and these rifles will go off at random into 
the windows of shops and at people. They will fire only because 
the people armed with them want to kill their own fear. All the 
dark instincts of the mob, infuriated by the destruction of life 
and the lies of politics, will flare up and begin to smoke people 
will kill each other, unable to overcome their own bestial 
stupidity. In a word, there will be a repetition of that same 
senseless bloody carnage which we have already seen and which 
has undermined the moral significance of the revolution 
throughout the country. It is highly likely that this time events 
will take on a still more bloody and destructive character. . . 
The Bolshevik Central Committee has done nothing to confirm 
the rumours of a coup, though it hasn't refuted them either. . . 
It is its duty to refute them, if it really is a powerful and freely 
acting political organ capable of directing the masses and not 


the passive toy of the moods of a savage mob, or a tool In the 
hands of shameless adventurers or unbalanced fanatics. . .' 

But what was the Government thinking and doing? All hopes, 
after all, were on it! Moreover, it had once been entrusted with 
"limitless power' and even been called the Government of the 
Salvation of the revolution'. 

It had had a debate on the 'disorders' on the day when the 
Military Revolutionary Committee was finally approved, 
October i6th. 'The most resolute measures would be taken and 
were already being taken.' What these were simple mortals 
didn't know. What measures our Government could take at all 
was also a mystery to everyone. 

However, there was no alarm. The tranquil assurance of a 
powerful Government reigned there. First of all, the coup was 
considered doubtful, once the plans had been disclosed. 
Secondly, all these plans were very well known to the splendidly 
organized Government. The Chief of Staff of the Petersburg 
region reported to the head of the Government: the Bolsheviks 
were preparing a 'demonstration of protest against the Govern- 
ment' : the demonstration would have a peaceful character, but 
nevertheless the workers would come out armed'. The Chief of 
Staff reported on the measures he 'was prepared to take to fore- 
stall the possibility that the demonstration would turn into dis- 
orders'. The measures were evidently excellent, since they were 
approved by the head of the Government. 

In general only the man-in-the-street could fall into a panic, 
while there was no reason at all to be distracted from serious 
state affairs because of this gossip. In the last analysis this was 
only the Bolsheviks, while against them was the whole country, 
which was with the Government. 

Speaking seriously, it is possible to explain the failure of our 
comic-opera Government to attempt any serious measures of 
self-defence at this time only by its complete naivete and childish- 
ness. Kerensky couldn't, of course, win, but he could and ought 
to have made an attempt. It was, after all, not May and not 
June outside. Now he had nothing to lose. He had to take a risk, 
and play all or nothing. 

Kerensky wasn't making any political concessions out of 


considerations of the highest statesmanship. Consequently his 
only method was Kornilovism. Kerensky was of course ready for 
this: wasn't he with the whole country and its democracy 
against its enemies? But he was weak. The Commander-in- 
Chief ' had no troops at all. He wouldn't be able to carry his 
Kornilovism through. . . 

Very well. But a risk had to be taken. He had a thousand 
military cadets and officers in Petersburg. There were even a 
few more. That was a force. An attempt could be made to 
paralyse the Bolshevik centres, decapitate the party, and arrest 
a hundred men in suitable conditions. That might smash the 
movement. . . In May and June this method was unsuitable. 
Only the man-in-the-street, wise after the event, lamented this 
without understanding the point. In May and June, even in 
July, repressions and violence only helped the rise of the move- 
ment. But the atmosphere then was completely different, the 
revolution had not yet delivered point-blank its irrevocable 
ultimatum: either the total destruction of Bolshevism, or its 
total victory. Now, when there was nothing to lose and it was 
vital to take a risk, an attempt to smash the movement by a bold 
and stormy onslaught was the only solution for those who called 
themselves the Government. 

But for this it was necessary to understand at least something. 
The inflated puppets of the Winter Palace understood nothing. 
Thinking themselves strong they felt no alarm, and busied 
themselves with more important affairs of state. They told each 
other that steps had been and would be taken, and composed 
decrees to tell the entire nation that the most resolute measures, 
including . . . etc., etc. 

And nothing else. 

On the grey and gloomy afternoon of October I4th there was 
a session of the Central Ex. Com. in the great hall of Smolny. 
During the period of the Pre-Parliament the sessions of the 
Central Ex. Com. plenum had almost ceased : only the Bureau 
was in session. There were very few delegates even now, and 
hardly any public; the hall was empty. I remember that the 
Bolsheviks for some reason were not sitting in their places but 
were clustered along the left side of the platform in a small 


group, as though entrenched there in their camp, against the 
besieging majority. But neither Trotsky nor Kamenev was there. 
The group was headed by Ryazanov. 

The 'defence of the capital' was on the agenda. Dan, of 
course, reported to the meeting. He began quickly and resolutely 
to deal with 'the dissension in the heart of the democracy'. 

'Exactly at this time, in these days of danger, an agitation is 
being carried on by the Bolsheviks that is sowing confusion 
amongst the worker and soldier masses. We must definitely ask 
our Bolshevik comrades why they are carrying on this policy. 
Do they know how their agitation is being received by the 
soldiers and workers? Will they take the responsibility for the 
consequences? I demand that the Bolshevik Party give a 
straightforward and honest reply to this question: Yes or no?' 

Dan concluded his report on the defence of the capital with 
this resolution: all workers, peasants, and soldiers were to 
remain calm and do their duty, while any kind of coup was 
completely inadmissible and could only unleash a destructive 
movement and thus lead to the wreck of the revolution. 

The atmosphere in the hall was very tense. Heads turned 
towards the cluster of Bolsheviks, from whom protests and 
contemptuous exclamations were heard. This made the Right 
lose its temper. The Bolsheviks, after a two-minute consulta- 
tion, sent Ryazanov to the platform to get away from, the 
question of the coup and concentrate attention on defence. 

There arose a long argument on procedure, which simply 
infuriated the majority. The Bolsheviks saw they had to explain 
themselves on this point, and asked for a break to discuss the 
resolution, which they hadn't known about up to then. In the 
absence of their leaders the position of the little group was not 
easy. An exhausting and boring interval dragged on till evening. 
Still no leaders. , . 

The session was resumed and there was Ryazanov on the 
platform again, agitated and pale as never before. He was the 
victim of party duty, but his performance was heroic. What, 
however, could he say? He was confronted, after all, with the 
task of explaining himself without giving a straightforward 
reply. He began: 

'I'm sincerely sorry we're debating such a serious question in 
an empty hall. But I have no desire to have recourse to for- 


malities and raise the question of a quorum. I should merely 
like to recall our sessions in June and July.' 

But the chairman was not to be bamboozled: he wouldn't 
allow any indulgence in reminiscences and asked him to stick to 
the point. Ryazanov came a little closer to it and beat about the 
bush for about an hour. 

'As long as the matter of defence is in the hands of the Coali- 
tion it will be in the same miserable state it's in now. Starting 
from this point, we set up the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee, which the Mensheviks voted against. You haven't the 
resolution to say to the Government "hands off!" Consequently 
don't say you seriously want to defend the revolution. We are 
asked whether we want to organize an uprising, but Dan knows 
that we are Marxists and do not prepare uprisings. The uprising 
is being prepared by the policy you have supported for seven 
months. The uprising is being prepared by those who are 
creating despair and apathy in the masses. If the policy remains 
the same in future, and if as a result there is an uprising, then we 
shall be in the first ranks of the insurgents.' 

Lenin complimented Ryazanov highly on this speech. The 
audience, however, was more indignant than satisfied. But what 
could they do? That was that; you can't squeeze out answers by 

Fraction speeches followed. Bogdanov spoke for the Men- 
sheviks: 'Ryazanov hasn't given a definite reply, but in any 
case it's clear the Bolsheviks are preparing an armed uprising; 
the masses, however, will not go out into the streets. Only hand- 
fuls will go, who will be crushed by the Government; Dan's 
resolution is feeble and colourless, it counts on Bolshevik sup- 
port, but it should be voted for.' 

For our fraction Martov declared that he also would vote for 
the resolution, though disagreeing with the Bolshevik appraisal 
of the situation. He also thought street demonstrations a 
hazardous undertaking. To say that in the interests of defence it 
was necessary to change the structure of the regime was self- 
delusion. Civil war would not help defence; for this reason it was 
impossible now to regard insurgent elements as a method of 
creating the regime we needed. Ryazanov was right it was the 
Government that was preparing the uprising. But each party 
was also a political factor. We were bound to fight against any 


attempts at unleashing the elements and we ought to warn 
the masses. We could not depend on the Bolsheviks' listening to 
us, but to do our duty we ought to tell the masses that an 
uprising would be a source of counter-revolution. 

Not only the Right but also the Left SRs supported Dan's 
resolution. One more resolution. . . 

And the leaders of the old Soviet majority turned to current 
tasks. . . 

Ryazanov's speech at the Central Ex. Com. enquiry and his 
references to Marxism called forth an immediate response in the 
Novaya hizn, from our accredited theoretician, Bazarov. This 
began what I may call a theoretical discussion of the theme of the 
uprising. It was rather pathetic. But its political significance lay 
in the fact that it was only here that all the Ys were crossed and it 
was officially acknowledged that c going from words to deeds* 
meant making an uprising. But even this acknowledgement 
was at first indirect and academic, and for the masses changed 
nothing. It was not until October sist that, by way of closing 
the discussion, Lenin said in straightforward language that he 
was calling for insurrection. It was not until then that the 
political preparation was finished, and only technical instruc- 
tions remained. It would seem that this was a little too late. But 
no matter it came off. The fruit, after all, was so ripe it fell into 
one's hand by itself. 

Bazarov (in his article of October iyth) in reality produced 
very little theory: 'Ryazanov', he wrote, 'declared that "we" 
would lead the insurrection; if "we" means individuals, then it 
is nobody's business; if "we" is the party, then it is a crime, for 
the party, which embraces the entire working class, will be 
crushed together with the insurrection, which will lead to the 
total collapse of the revolution. Violence is inevitable because 
the "despair and apathy" proclaimed by Ryazanov has never 
yet been victorious, for Marxism demands an objective calcula- 
tion of the chances of an insurrection. Amongst the Bolsheviks 
themselves there are numerous and authoritative dissenters; it is 
their duty to come out before the masses and fight against this 
adventure in public, but they have done no more than issue a 
manuscript leaflet that is being passed from hand to hand.' 


As we see, none of this was at all terrible, while the Novaya 
ZJiizn attack on Bolshevik plans and methods was far from the 
first. Each pin-prick from our newspaper, however, had a 
greater effect on the Bolsheviks than the tempestuous fire of all 
the rest of the press put together. They were enemies \ their 
attacks were merely a source of clarity and strength. But up to 
now we had been allies \ this was 'obfuscation' and deadly sabo- 
tage. The Bolsheviks broke into a frenzy. Every effort had to be 
made to trample the Novaya %hizn into the mud in the eyes of 
the proletariat : our paper was read and considered their own by 
many thousands of advanced Petersburg workers. 

The propagandists ofRabockii Put took up the cudgels at once. 
The very next day, amidst a tub of filth, they displayed an 
interesting quotation from Marx, thinking it was in their favour. 
Marx's pamphlet, Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Germany, 
gives two important and eloquently expressed directives: 
Tirst, don't undertake an insurrection until you are fully pre- 
pared to deal with the consequences; and secondly, once em- 
barked on a revolution act with the greatest resolution and as 
the attacking side.' 

On the basis of this the Bolshevik theoreticians evidently 
thought their position sound : they were preparing to attack and 
to act with resolution. And that was as correct as 2 plus 2 
makes 4. But the whole point was in that 'once embarked', that is, 
if it was necessary. Was it necessary? When was it necessary? 
When was it possible? Only when you were 'fully prepared to 
deal with the consequences'. 

This was not so at all. Bazarov at once seized on this the 
following day in a new article. But once again, to my mind, he 
did not focus attention on the heart of the matter. He spoke 
again of the chances of success and failure of the insurrection; 
again he indicated the inadequacy of material and moral 
strength. These assertions were no more than the writer's own 
pessimism, but could not serve as the theoretical ground of his 

Nevertheless Marx's statement was at the very core of the 
Bolshevik position and damaged it mortally. For you had to be 
ready to deal with the consequences. The consequences of 
victorious insurrections can be and have been in history extra- 
ordinarily varied. The working class has not always raised an 


insurrection in order to take the state into its own hands. This 
time that's just what it was. In spite of all the chances of victory 
of the uprising, the Bolsheviks knew in advance they could not 
deal with its consequences, knew in advance that, in view of the 
whole complex of circumstances, they could not perform the 
consequent tasks of state. 

This was shown in practice, but only later; at this time there 
had been no practice. But at this time there should have been 
theory] the Bolsheviks should have had clear ideas and precise 
plans as to what they would do with the State they had won, 
how they would run it, and how in our conditions they would 
perform the tasks of a new proletarian State and satisfy the 
immediate, day-to-day needs, which had produced the in- 
surrection, of the labouring masses. I maintain the Bolsheviks 
had no such plans. And personally, both in speeches and in 
articles, I directed attention precisely to this aspect of the 

I maintain the Bolsheviks had no other ideas than the 
immediate handing over of the land for seizure by the peasants, 
readiness to propose peace at once, the most confused ideas 
about 'workers' control 3 , and the most fantastic notions of 
methods of extracting bread, with the help of the 'sailor 5 and the 
'working girl'. . . Lenin had more 'ideas', borrowed whole from 
the experience of the Paris Commune and Marx's pamphlet on 
it, and also from Kropotkin. 1 These of course included the 
destruction of the system of credit and the seizure of the banks; 
the thoroughgoing revision of the whole government apparatus 
and its replacement by administrators from among the working 
class (this in peasant, limitless, and half-savage Tsarist Russia!) ; 
the liability to election of all officials; compulsory parity 
between specialists' wages and the average worker's. And there 
were some other fantasies, which all vanished at the first contact 
with reality. But all these 'ideas' were, first of all, so dispropor- 
tionately few in comparison with the immensity of the tasks, 
and secondly were so unknown to anyone in the Bolshevik 
Party, that you might say they were completely irrelevant. 

Lenin's pamphlet, State and Revolution, was very soon to 
become gospel. But first of all this gospel, as always, served 
merely as something to swear by God forbid that anything 

1 The celebrated philosopher of anarchism. (Ed.) 


should be done in accordance with its visionary words! and 
secondly it had not yet been published. 

So far only 'materials' for a programme were present. And 
these materials, as Larin put it, revealed a vacuum instead of a 
financial-economic plan. 

The Bolsheviks didn't know what they were going to do with 
their victory and the State they would win. They were acting 
against Marx, against scientific Socialism, against common sense, 
against the working class, when by way of an insurrection, under 
the slogan of Tower to the Soviets' they attempted to hand over 
to their own Central Committee the totality of state power in 
Russia. The power of a single isolated proletarian vanguard, 
though it was based on the confidence of millions of the masses, 
obliged the new Government and the Bolsheviks themselves to 
perform tasks they knew to be beyond their strength. This was 
the core of the problem. The Bolshevik Party was Utopian in 
undertaking to perform these tasks. It made a fateful error when 
it started an insurrection without thinking about them. 

But let us return to the 'discussion'. Bazarov had mentioned 
the manuscript leaflet of two prominent Bolsheviks, who were 
protesting against the insurrection. Bazarov surmised (quite 
rightly, of course) that there was in the party a group which 
dissented from the official line. But the Rabochii Put said at once 
there was nothing of the sort the authors of the sheet remained 
in splendid isolation. These were none other, of course, than the 
well-known 'cronies', Kamenev and Zinoviev. 

Once the garbage was out of the house and there was nothing 
to lose, Kamenev decided to give a public explanation. For this, 
of course, they didn't allow him into the Rabochii Put. The 
'communication' appeared in the Novaya %hizn. He, Kamenev, 
and Zinoviev appealed to the largest party organizations in a 
letter, and in it they expressed themselves 'decidedly against the 
party's taking on itself the initiative of any armed moves in the 
immediate future. Everyone understands that in the present 
situation there can be no question of anything like an armed 
demonstration. The question can only be of the seizure of power by 
force of arms: any kind of mass demonstration can be undertaken 
only after clearly and definitely setting before oneself the task of 


an armed insurrection. Not only Comrade Zinoviev and I, but 
also a large group of our fellow practical workers think that 
taking the initiative of an armed insurrection at the given 
moment, with the given correlation of forces, independently of 
and a few days before the Soviet Congress would be inadmis- 
sible, and fatal to both the proletariat and the revolution. 3 The 
Bolshevik Party, of course, was striving towards the realization 
of its programme with the help of the state power already 
achieved. It would not, of course, shrink even from an in- 
surrection. But 'now it would be doomed to defeat'. 'To risk the 
fate of the party, the proletariat and the revolution and rise up in 
the next few days would be to commit an act of despair. And 
the party is too strong, too great a future lies ahead, for it to take 
such desperate steps.' 

Not especially profound, but quite eloquent. In any case we 
see that Kamenev's argumentation says no more and no less 
than what the Socialists of the other parties were saying at that 
time. Here, too, attention was focused on the chances of the 
insurrection and its destruction in unfavourable conditions. 
This is attested by the fact that no basic questions about what 
would happen afterwards were given priority even by Bolshevik 
opponents of the insurrection. But in any case this evaluation of 
the chances was very convincing in the mouth of a Bolshevik. 

Lenin was living in those days somewhere a few hours' 
journey away from Petersburg. He received the Novaya %hizn 
number with Bazarov's article that same October I7th, at 
8 o'clock in the evening. At that time he was finishing a very 
long 'Letter to the Comrades' to counterbalance the 'cronies' ' 
letter. He hadn't intended it to be printed and hence didn't 
intend to pronounce the word 'uprising' publicly in connexion 
with the party's plans. But Bazarov's article made Lenin in- 
dignant. Seeing the reference to the manuscript leaflet, which 
had fallen out of party hands into those of the Tools on the 
Novqya %hizn?, Lenin made arrangements to have his letter, too, 
printed at once. 'If that's how things are, we must agitate even 
for an insurrection.' 

The letter was printed in three long instalments (October 
igth~2ist). Lenin was afraid the 'cronies' would create con- 


fusion in the ranks of the party, and hastened to intervene in 
spite of his having been 'placed by the will of fate a little to one 
side of the main stream of history 5 . Oh, of course, that could not 
stop Jupiter ! But the point is that this document, intended to 
clarify the minds of the comrades in the hour of destiny, adds 
precisely nothing to the 'theory' of the insurrection. If we leave 
aside some sour notes produced with Lenin's inherent violence, 
the rest of this document is a complete vacuum. And the letter 
might be ignored if it were not a document of the epoch, a 
memorial to a great act of history. Just take it as it is. 

'Rejection of the insurrection is rejection of the transference 
of power to the Soviets and a placing of all hopes in the well- 
meaning bourgeoisie who have "promised" to convoke the Con- 
stituent Assembly. Either an open rejection of the slogan of "All 
Power to the Soviets", or else insurrection. There is no middle 
way. Either idly fold your useless arms and wait, vowing fidelity 
to the Constituent Assembly, while Rodzianko & Co. surrender 
Petersburg and smother the revolution, or else insurrection.' 

Meanwhile these are merely menacing preliminary remarks ; 
Lenin is only causing a fright with the terrible words 'There is 
no middle way'. Further on, however, he comes to grips with 
his opponents' arguments. Well, let's listen. It's our duty. 

Lenin quotes his opponents: 'There is nothing in the inter- 
national situation that actually obliges us to demonstrate at 
once; we should, rather, harm the cause if we allowed ourselves 
to be shot.' 

Here is Lenin's reply to this 'magnificent argument, which 
Scheidemann himself could not have improved on' : 

'The Germans, with Liebknecht alone, without newspapers or 
mass-meetings, made an insurrection in the fleet, and we, with 
dozens of papers, a majority in the Soviets and so on are to 
refrain from insurrection! "Let's demonstrate our good sense. 
Let's pass a resolution of sympathy with the German insurgents, 
and overthrow the revolution in Russia".' 

Hard to resist this: it's very powerful. But it's not enough 
comparaison rfest pas raison. 

The following argument: 'Everyone is against us. We are in 
isolation. Both the Central Ex. Com. and the Menshevik- 
Internationalists, both the Novaya %hizn and the Left SRs have 
published and are publishing proclamations against us.' 


Lenin's answer to 'this most powerful argument' : 

*Up to now we have fought the vacillators, and this is what 
has won us the sympathy of the people and gained us a majority 
in the Soviets; shall we now exploit the Soviets we have won in 
order to go over ourselves into the camp of the vacillators? 
What a splendid career for Bolshevism! On account of the 
betrayal of the peasant insurrection by the Martovs, the Kam- 
kovs, and the Sukhanovs, it is now proposed that we betray it 
too. This is what the policy of ogling the Left SRs and the 
Menshevik-Internationalists boils down to.' 

Evidently, for the comrades who were the objects of the 
agitation, this was enough to convince them of the safety and 
even utility of their isolation. Let's make a proletarian State 
against the parties, that is, against the subjective will and the 
objective class interests of the overwhelming majority of the 
population. Well, all right, do so ! 

Further: 'But we haven't even firm ties with the railwaymen 
and postal employees; is it possible to win without them?' 

Lenin's answer: 'It's not a question of stocking up on ties 
beforehand, but of the fact that only a victory of the proletarian 
and peasant insurrection can satisfy the masses of railwaymen 
and postal employees.' 

Here the simplification is quite childish! No, it is not the 
victory of the insurrection that will satisfy these masses, but the 
right organization and functioning of the new State. Is that as 
easy as it is to win an insurrection with dozens of newspapers 
and a majority in the Soviets? Or is it somewhat harder? 

Argument: There is bread in Petersburg for two or three days. 
Can we give the insurgents bread?' 

Lenin's answer: 'Sceptics can always doubt, and nothing but 
experience will convince them; it is precisely the bourgeoisie 
that is preparing the famine; there is not and cannot be any 
other means of salvation from hunger than an insurrection of the 
peasants against the landlords in the country and the victory of 
the workers against the capitalists in the cities and the, capital. 
Any delay in the insurrection is like death that is the reply 
that must be made to those who have the miserable courage to 
watch the growth of chaos and dissuade the workers from 
insurrection. . .' 

This plainly needs no comment. Let's go on. 


Argument: 'The situation at the front is not yet dangerous; 
even if the soldiers concluded a truce by themselves it would still 
be no calamity.' 

Lenin's answer: 'But the soldiers are not concluding any 
truce; for this the state power is necessary, and it cannot be 
obtained without an insurrection. The soldiers are simply 
running away. Waiting is impossible without making it easier 
for Rodzianko to come to an agreement with the Kaiser.' 

Now this would have been true if, instead of a Bolshevik 
insurrection with Utopian aims, it had been a question of a 
dictatorship of the Soviet democracy proceeding to replace the 
Gadet-Kornilov Coalition in order to fulfil the real programme 
of the revolution. 

Argument: e And if we take power and obtain neither a truce, 
nor peace, then the soldiers might not come along into a 
revolutionary war. What then?* 

Here the Thunderer lost patience: 'One fool', he replied, 
'can ask ten times as many questions as ten wise men can 
answer. , . We have never denied the difficulties of ruling, but 
we 'will not allow ourselves to be frightened by the difficulties of 
revolution. 5 

Lenin devoted three columns to the argument we have met 
with not only from the 'cronies' but also from other Soviet people 
and parties: 'the masses, as everyone reports, are not belli- 

Lenin, 'placed to one side of the stream', makes a correction: 
first of all, everyone says that the mood is one of 'concentration 
and expectancy' ; secondly, the workers do not want to come out 
for a manifestation, but 'there is the approach of a general 
struggle hovering in the air' ; thirdly, the 'broad masses are near 
despair, and it is on this soil that anarchism is growing'; 
fourthly, 'excitement' is not necessary either, what is necessary 
is just a 'mood of desperate concentration. . .' 

Well, now you can take your choice. Personally I have 
absolutely never agreed that the mood of the masses excluded a 
successful insurrection. The only question was rather how many 
of them might go to the barricades. But I see no need to linger 
over Lenin's verbiage, even though it is directed towards the 
same conclusion. 

This was the final argument of his opponents : *A Marxist 


party cannot reduce the question of an Insurrection to the 
question of a military conspiracy.' 

In essence this is correct. But this time Lenin too was right, 
that this was quite irrelevant. To talk about a military con- 
spiracy instead of a national insurrection, when the party was 
followed by the overwhelming majority of the people, when the 
party had already de facto conquered all real power and 
authority was clearly an absurdity. On the part of the enemies 
of Bolshevism it was a malicious absurdity, but on the part of the 
'cronies 5 an aberration based on panic. Here Lenin was right. . . 
But even on this basis I can by no means renounce the estimate 
I placed on the entire document: I'm not responsible for the 
fact that the 'cronies 5 said some absurd things. 

So the arguments are exhausted. And the theoretical 
material of this time is also, I think, all exhausted. Now we are 
familiar with the whole philosophy of the insurrection at that 
time. There was no other. He who has ears, has heard. 

As for the 'cronies', it was as though they had simply been 
waiting to be called to heel. Two days later Zinoviev published a 
letter that he was 'postponing the dispute until more favour- 
able circumstances', and 'closing the ranks', Kamenev an- 
nounced the same thing in the Soviet, the same day his views 
were published in the Novaya %fdzn. 

Everyone was asking: and what about Lunacharsky? What 
does he think? Wasn't he probably against 'all that'? Personally 
at this time I saw him rarely. The party command had long 
since forbidden him to write in the Novaya %hizn. He was 
spending a lot of time in the Town Council, where he was a col- 
league of the 'Governor's'. He was beginning to get involved in 
cultural and municipal work, and told me he wanted to go over 
to it entirely. The reason for this was primarily the fact that the 
party didn't let him into 'major policy' and was treating him 
badly. I don't think I ever spoke to him at this time about 
Bolshevik activities and plans, and I don't know what he 
thought. But because of all the newspaper rumours libelling his 
position he declared in print, neck and neck with Zinoviev: 
I stand with the party. 

But it's time to leave 'ideas'. In those days, actually, there 
was no time for them. 



THOSE were the days of the final mobilization and final review 
of strength. Everywhere in the provinces at this time there were 
Soviet congresses, and almost everywhere they gave pre- 
dominance to the Bolsheviks, while In Moscow a movement 
again began going out into the streets. On the I5th a large 
manifestation took place with the most violent slogans, 
especially from the soldiers : We would rather die in Moscow on 
the barricades than go to the front!' In the Soviet and the Ex. 
Com. it became evident that it was no longer possible to hold 
back the Moscow masses. In other corners of Russia, even 
where there was no peasant uprising, the movement, under the 
slogans of 'Soviet power', was clearly sweeping over the 

In general there was no doubt that Moscow would lend 
complete and active support; the greater part of the provinces 
would give support; the rest would be 'assimilated'. 

The front was more doubtful. Here party influence was 
diverse, but, generally speaking, they had no time there for 
politics: they refused to know or think of anything but peace. 
What worked against the Bolsheviks was their not letting the 
Petersburg garrison out of the capital as reinforcements. But 
the Bolsheviks had every hope of immediate peace proposals. It 
was scarcely possible to assemble any real force against any 
Government that proposed peace. No one would have marched 
against Petersburg. And nothing more was needed. 

But even at the front there were substantial Bolshevik 
organizations. Corps, divisions, batteries, and other units were 
sending to the papers a multitude of Bolshevik resolutions. 
There were also congresses that took place under the exclusive 
influence of the Bolsheviks. 

I should like to mention just this about the front. Once more 
strings of delegations from the front were not only filing into 
Sinolny, appearing at big Soviet meetings with their messages 
and speeches : besides this they were stubbornly seeking intimate 
conversations and authoritative direct explanations from the old 


Soviet leaders. But there was no time for them. They were 
almost never received. When they did succeed in getting hold 
of a leader they could get no satisfaction from him. Non-party 
or SR-rninded delegates., disappointed and angry, Immediately 
turned to the Bolsheviks. They poured out their hearts to them 
at Smolny, and at the front became conductors of their in- 
fluence. Our editorial office (and others too no doubt) was 
literally swamped at this time with letters from the trenches. 
These were remarkable human documents. Pouring their souls 
out to the dregs, the soldiers showed what the unbearable 
suffering of wartime had turned them into. If only it would end : 
nothing else mattered parties, politics, or revolution. Anyone 
would be supported who produced even a ghost of peace. 

There was nothing there to be afraid of. Though the front 
might give no active support, it would not be actively hostile. 
Though it might not be helpful, it wouldn't be harmful. The 
non-party and SR mass would easily be assimilated by the 
Bolshevik minority. And doubtless even "scratch detachments' 
would not easily be turned against the Bolsheviks in this 

Besides the Soviet organizations there were also some 
municipalities in the hands of the Bolsheviks. One way or 
another in such conditions the overturn definitely did not recall 
either a military conspiracy or a Blanquist experiment. 

But the active and deciding role belonged to Petersburg, and 
partly to its suburbs. Forces were mobilized here most of all, in 
the main arena of the drama. 

Trotsky, tearing himself away from work on the revolutionary 
staff, personally rushed from the Obukhovsky plant to the 
Trubochny, from the Putilov to the Baltic works, from the 
riding-school to the barracks; he seemed to be speaking at all 
points simultaneously.* His influence, both among the masses 
and on the staff, was overwhelming. He was the central figure of 
those days and the principal hero of this remarkable page of 

sje # sje 

On the evening of October i8th, after a speech by Miliukov in 
the Pre-Parliament, I went to Smolny. The Soviet was in 
session. The great hall was glittering brightly with its chandelier 
and snow-white columns. It was packed. The mood was 


obviously exalted. In the stuffy, smoky air an endless mass of 
excited faces was looking up at the platform from out of clouds 
of tobacco smoke. The aisles and the seats behind the columns 
were packed with disorderly groups. 

The file of men from the trenches had already long since 
passed by. When I got there Trotsky was on the platform 
talking heatedly about something. 

I pushed my way to the platform stage. I had something quite 
special in mind. An anniversary of Gorky's was coming up on 
Sunday the 22nd his twenty-five years as a writer. The 
importance of this, especially to the Petersburg worker-soldier 
Soviet, seemed self-evident to me, but almost no one knew 
about it. I wanted the Soviet to pass a motion and send him 

But how could this be done? If I spoke in my own name 
it would only produce embarrassment, and might end in a 
scandal. The meeting would look questioningly at the leaders 
and what would they say? The point was that the Bolsheviks 
had now been subjecting our paper, and Gorky, its director, to 
a particularly heavy fire. And it happened that Gorky had 
picked just that day to come out with an article against the 

I knew very well what the Bolshevik traditions were, and that 
this wasn't a moment when the Bolsheviks would distinguish 
between the world-famous writer, the artistic ideologist of the 
proletariat, and their political antagonist on a current question 
of tactics. 

I began looking for someone on the platform with whom I 
could make arrangements beforehand. I didn't want to appeal 
to Trotsky: we hadn't met for about three weeks, during which 
our paths had radically diverged, and the question was rather 
delicate. I looked around, and hit upon someone highly 

That was Ryazanov. I had no doubt of his sympathy. But to 
my surprise he began to give me hurried evasive answers and 
seemed somewhat embarrassed. He refused to speak himself, 
but promised to tell Trotsky when the latter had finished his 
speech. I waited. . . 

But what was Trotsky so hot about? Why were the soldiers' 
faces so excited? 


Trotsky had exposed a scandal. He was resisting an impudent 
encroachment on the soldiers' vital interests. That's why he was 
so emotional and why the hall was aroused. 

The Petersburg Town Council, in order to help out its totally 
ruined exchequer a little and rescue its tram-cars from rapid 
deterioration, had decided to ask the soldiers to pay a fare of 
about five copecks instead of the twenty paid by all simple 
mortals, not excepting even the workers. Up to then the com- 
pletely idle Petersburg garrison had been riding around without 
paying, packing the trams even for only one or two stops. Both 
the populace and the municipal finances suffered bitterly. 
Finally a reform was decided on, that went directly counter to 
the interests of the revolution. 

I saw a group of Bolshevik Town Council members, led by 
Joffe, the future famous diplomat and ambassador, on the plat- 
form. These council-men had already explored the question in 
the Town Council and admitted that the proposed measure 
was completely sensible. Nevertheless they had appeared in the 
Soviet to give Trotsky authoritative backing. Everything else 
had to stop for considerations of higher policy ! 

But Trotsky, who was carrying on this higher policy, was 
describing to the soldiers the whole outrageous injustice of 
the five-copeck fare in vivid colours and demanding its aboli- 

In his demagogy the future ruler did not hesitate to preach 
the most primitive capriciousness and anarchy. A rather miser- 
able scene an episode in the softening-up. 

I couldn't stay long enough to propose that Gorky be 
honoured. Trotsky was obviously out of sympathy. The Soviet 
passed over the anniversary of the writer who had brought down 
on his head innumerable blows, filth, and slanders for his 
revolutionary services. 

It was already late at night when my wife and I left the 
meeting. Outside we were met by pitch darkness, with a down- 
pour into the bargain. We were in a bad mood. And now 
another delight! How to get to the other end of the city, to the 
Karpovka, with my tubercular wife, who couldn't resist going to 
this meeting and missing all the trams. There was quite a crowd 


in the darkness of the gardens quarrelling about a couple of 
snorting motor-cars the Bolshevik Soviet had succeeded in 
getting away from the Menshevik~SR Central Ex. Com. The 
cars of course were out of the question : Trotsky was about to 
go up to one of them, but after standing there a moment and 
looking at it he laughed, splashed off through the puddles, and 
vanished in the darkness. 

About to start off on foot, we found out that some special 
trams, standing in the square, had been supplied for the 
delegates. We rushed over. Another success ! The tram for the 
Petersburg Side had already left. The only thing we could do 
was to ride to the corner of Sadovoy and Inzhenerny. But it was 
still a good five versts from there. 

Standing on the platform of the tram I was extraordinarily 
irritable and gloomy. A short fellow with a modest look was 
standing near us, with a pince-nez, a black goatee, and flashing 
Jewish eyes. Seeing my mood he set about cheering me up, and 
tried to distract me with some advice about the route. But I 
answered him disagreeably and monosyllabically. 

'Who's that? 5 I asked, when we left the tram. 

'That's our old party worker, the Town Councillor, 
Sverdlov. . .' 

In my bad temper I should undoubtedly have cheered up and 
laughed a great deal if someone had told me that in a fortnight 
this man would be the titular head of the Russian Republic. 

The Petersburg garrison was the primary and most impor- 
tant factor. This was obvious to everyone. During this period 
the Soldiers' Section was being 'dealt with' practically every 
day. But this wasn't enough : the garrison had to be sounded out 
and strengthened in every possible way. 

That same day, the i8th, the Military Department of the 
Petersburg Soviet had wired all units: (i) To refrain from any 
unauthorized action; (2) To carry out regional Staff orders only 
after their approval by the Military Department, And the telegram 
carried an invitation to come to Smolny that same day for 
personal explanations. 

This wire was held up in the Central Ex. Com. Nevertheless 
representatives of most of the units appeared at Smolny. In the 


name of the Central Ex. Com. the meeting was declared incom- 
petent. As you like! It took place anyhow, and of course Trotsky 
took the floor. One of the Central Ex. Com. members asked for 
the floor at this incompetent meeting, but didn't get it. 

The unit delegates, however, had not been gathered together 
to be agitated at again, but to be listened to. The 'speeches from 
the floor' were in the last analysis all alike : the Izmailovskys, 
Chasseurs, Volhynians, Grenadiers, Cuxholms, Semyonovskys, 
Rifles, Pavlovskys, the Electro-Technical Battalion, the Moscow 
Regiment, the 8gth, and others all said the self-same thing: 
Power to the Soviets; they would come out at the first call; 
mistrust and contempt for the Government and sometimes for 
the Central Ex. Com. into the bargain. Of those present only 
the cavalry units declared either their passivity or their refusal to 
come out at all. This was 'neutrality' a term often used at this 

The next day, the igth, the Central Ex. Com. convened 
another, 'competent 5 , garrison meeting. This time the organizers 
obviously preferred to talk, not listen. Dan thought it necessary 
to say that a Soviet Congress in his opinion was now 'unsuitable', 
although no one was thinking of disrupting it. But for the most 
part of course he spoke of the 'unsuitability 9 and calamitousness 
of a demonstration. He was opposed by Trotsky in the cus- 
tomary spirit. But the delegates themselves spoke up, showing 
the Star Chamber the same scene as the evening before: we shall 
obey the Petersburg Soviet absolutely and come out only on its summons. 

Finally, on Saturday the 2ist there was another meeting of 
the regimental and company committees of all units. Once 
again Trotsky. Again the everlasting 'current moment', but 
three decisions. 

First of all, the Soviet Congress was assembling and would 
take power in order to secure land, peace, and bread; the 
garrison solemnly promised to place all its forces down to the 
last man at the disposal of the Congress. 

Secondly, the Military Revolutionary Committee was now 
formed and in operation; the garrison welcomed it and promised 
it full support in everything it undertook. 

Thirdly, the following morning, Sunday the 22nd, the Day of 
the Petersburg Soviet, was a day of the peaceful muster of 
forces; the garrison, without demonstrating anywhere, would 


watch over order and in case of need resist any provocative 
attempts of the bourgeoisie to carry discord into the revolu- 
tionary ranks. 

Some minor misunderstandings arose with the Cossack 
delegates, who referred to Lenin's articles, in alarm about a 
possible uprising the following day; they were actually pre- 
paring for a ceremonial procession, and moreover would never 
bend the knee to the Germans for peace. There was a hubbub at 
first, but then a c common language' was found : an appeal was 
made to the Cossack brethren inviting them as dear guests 
*to our meetings on the holiday of our peaceful muster of 

No one voted against Trotsky's resolution. Only fifty-seven 
people remained neutral and abstained. It seemed that one 
could remain calm. Things were firm enough here. 

On October 2ist the Petersburg garrison conclusively acknow- 
ledged the Soviet as sole power, and the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee as the immediate organ of authority. 

Two days earlier the District Commander had again re- 
ported to the Premier: 'There is no reason to think the garrison 
will refuse to obey the orders of the military authorities*. 

One could remain calm. The Winter Palace was calm. 'Steps 
had been taken.' 

I spent that night in the Karpovka because I had to speak the 
next day at noon at a mass-meeting in the People's House. 

The decisive day came. The Cyclopean building of the 
People's House was packed to the doors with a countless throng. 
They filled the enormous theatres to overflowing in the expecta- 
tion of mass-meetings. The foyer, buffet, and corridors were also 
full. Behind the scenes people kept asking me : Just what did I 
intend to talk about? I replied about the 'current moment', of 
course. Did that mean against the coup? They began trying to 
persuade me to speak on foreign policy. After all, that was my 
speciality! The discussion with the organizers took on such a 
character I absolutely refused to speak at all. But that was no 
use either. 

Irritated, I went out from backsv**ge, to watch events from the 
hall. Trotsky was flying along the corridor towards me on to the 


stage. He glanced at me angrily and rushed by without any 
greeting. That was the first time. . . Diplomatic relations were 
broken off for a long while. 

The mood of the people, more than 3,000, who filled the hall 
was definitely tense: they were all silently waiting for some- 
thing. The audience was of course primarily workers and 
soldiers, but more than a few typically lower-middle-class men's 
and women's figures were visible. 

Trotsky's ovation seemed to be cut short prematurely, out of 
curiosity and impatience: what was he going to say? Trotsky at 
once began to heat up the atmosphere, with his skill and 
brilliance. I remember that at length and with extraordinary 
power he drew a picture (difficult through its simplicity) of the 
suffering of the trenches. Thoughts flashed through my mind 
of the inevitable incongruity of the parts in this oratorical whole. 
But Trotsky knew what he was doing. The whole point lay in 
the mood. The political conclusions had long been familiar. 
They could be condensed, as long as there were enough high- 

Trotsky did this with enough highlights. The Soviet regime 
was not only called upon to put an end to the suffering of the 
trenches. It would give land and heal the internal disorder. 
Once again the recipes against hunger were repeated : a soldier, 
a sailor, and a working girl, who would requisition bread from 
those who had it and distribute it gratis to the cities and front. 
But Trotsky went even further on this decisive 'Day of the 
Petersburg Soviet 5 . 

*The Soviet Government will give everything the country 
contains to the poor and the men in the trenches. You, bour- 
geois, have got two fur caps ! give one of them to the soldier, 
who's freezing in the trenches. Have you got warm boots? Stay 
at home. The worker needs your boots. . .' 

These were very good and just ideas. They could not but 
excite the enthusiasm of a crowd who had been reared on the 
Tsarist whip. In any case, I certify as a direct witness that this 
was what was said on this last day. 

All round me was a mood bordering on ecstasy. It seemed as 
though the crowd, spontaneously and of its own accord, would 
break into some religious hymn. Trotsky formulated a brief and 
general resolution, or pronounced some general formula like *we 


will defend the worker-peasant cause to the last drop of our 

Who was for? The crowd of thousands, as one man, raised 
their hands. I saw the raised hands and burning eyes of men, 
women, youths, soldiers, peasants, and typically lower- 
middle-class faces. Were they in spiritual transports? Did they 
see, through the raised curtain, a corner of the 'righteous land' 
of their longing? Or were they penetrated by a consciousness of 
the political occasion, under the influence of the political agitation 
of a Socialist? Ask no questions! Accept it as it was. . . 

Trotsky went on speaking. The innumerable crowd went on 
holding their hands up. Trotsky rapped out the words: 'Let this 
vote of yours be your vow with all your strength and at any 
sacrifice to support the Soviet that has taken on itself the 
glorious burden of bringing to a conclusion the victory of the 
revolution and of giving land, bread, and peace!* 

The vast crowd was holding up its hands. It agreed. It vowed. 
Once again, accept this as it was. With an unusual feeling of 
oppression I looked on at this really magnificent scene. 

Trotsky finished. Someone else went out on to the stage. But 
there was no point in waiting and looking any more. 

Throughout Petersburg more or less the same thing was 
going on. Everywhere there were final reviews and final vows. 
Thousands, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of 
people. . . This, actually, was already an insurrection. Things 

had started. . . 

# # # 

At about 5 or 6 o'clock, I don't remember just why, a meeting 
of our Pre-Parliament fraction was scheduled in the Marian 
Palace. But almost no one was there. In the reading-room I 
came across two or three comrades, in deep arm-chairs, lazily 
exchanging remarks. I began to tell them what I had seen and 
heard that day. But I don't think it made much impression. Dr. 
Mandelberg, coming to the point, began talking about what was 
going to happen in the Pre-Parliament on Tuesday or Wed- 

'What?' I stopped him. e D'you think there's still going to be a 
Pre-Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday? Don't delude 
yourself! In two or three days the Pre-Parliament will no longer 
exist. . .' 


But they ironically waved me aside. Two hours passed. The 
time assigned for our fraction meeting had already gone by. I 
didn't go away because at about 8 or 9 o'clock an inter-fraction 
meeting was scheduled on the question of a peace formula. 
While waiting I wandered about the empty half-dark rooms. 
All at once a group of people from other fractions appeared 
Peshekhonov, Kuskov, Skobelev, and someone else. They were 
already looking for the other delegates in order to begin the 
conference. Well, what had they seen and heard today? What 
did they think? I went up to them and abruptly flung out: 'So 
the insurrection's begun! What are your impressions?' 

For a long moment the group looked at me in frowning 
silence, not knowing what to say. Insurrection? No, they didn't 
know a thing. Should they believe me? How should they reply? 
Whether you believed it or not you shouldn't get into this sort of 
conversation. After all, if the insurrection really had begun 
Sukhanov of course would be in it. . . 

The inter-fraction meeting began, but we didn't have time to 
finish. We were interrupted by a group of people who had 
rushed over from Smolny with extraordinary news. 



IN actual fact the overturn was accomplished the moment the 
Petersburg garrison acknowledged the Soviet as its supreme 
authority and the Military Revolutionary Committee as its 
direct command. Such a decision, as we know, was made at the 
meeting of the garrison representatives on October sist. But in 
the unprecedented setting this act may be said to have had an 
abstract character. No one took it for a coup d'etat. 

And no wonder. The decision, aftef all, did not really change 
the situation: even earlier the Government had had no real 
power or authority. The real power in the capital had already 
been in the hands of the Bolsheviks of the Petersburg Soviet long 
before, and nevertheless the Winter Palace had remained the 
Government, and Smolny a private institution. Now the 
garrison had declared officially, urbi et orbi, that it did not recog- 
nize the Government and was subject to the Soviet. But did it 
matter what was said in Smolny, where there was nobody but 

Nevertheless, this is a fact: by October 2ist the Provisional 
Government had already been overthrown, and was non- 
existent in the territory of the capital. Kerensky and his col- 
leagues, calling themselves Ministers, were still completely at 
liberty, busy with something or other in the Winter Palace; 
in many parts of the country they were still recognized as the 
Government (wherever the Soviets were not Bolshevik), and in 
addition they might still have some real support outside the 
capital and theoretically speaking have been able to destroy the 
Bolsheviks and their Petersburg garrison together. The main 
thing, however, was that no new power had been proclaimed, 
and the situation was transitional. It was the same as on 
February 28th, when the capital garrison turned against the 
Tsarist Government but there was no new Government; when 
Tsar Nicholas was at liberty and busy at Headquarters; when 
his authority was still recognized in many parts of the country 
and he could still find loyal troops to crush the insurgent 


Nevertheless the Government was already overthrown on 
October 2ist, as Tsar Nicholas had been on February 28th 
What remained now was essentially to complete what had been 
done first of all, to make the overturn official by proclaiming a 
new government, and secondly, to liquidate de facto the pre- 
tenders to power, thus achieving general acknowledgement of 
the accomplished fact. 

The significance of what was accomplished on October 2ist 
was obscure not only to the man-in- the-street and the spectator; 
it was not clear to the revolutionary leaders themselves. Glance 
into the memoirs of one of the chief figures of the October Days, 
Antonov-Ovseyenko, 1 secretary of the Military Revolutionary 
Committee. You'll see a complete 'unawareness 5 of the internal 
evolution of events. This gave rise to a lack of system and 
orderliness in the external, military-technical measures of the 
Bolsheviks. It might have ended for them much less successfully 
if they had been dealing with a different adversary. It was luck 
that the adversary was not only unaware, but completely blind ; 
and not only blind, but equal to zero with respect to real power. . . 

But here's what must be taken into account: neither Smolny 
nor the Winter Palace could be fully aware of the meaning of 
events. It was obscured by the historical position of the Soviet in 
the revolution. A confusion of ideas inevitably flowed from the 
fact that for half a year the totality of real power had been in the 
hands of the Soviet, while at the same time there existed a 
Government, and indeed an independent and sovereign one. 
The Soviet, by tradition, did not acknowledge that it was a 
government; and the Government, by tradition, did not 
acknowledge that it was a mere sham. . . How many times, after 
all, had even the garrison passed resolutions almost identical 
with its vote on October 2ist? How many times had it sworn 
allegiance to the Soviet, both after the July events and during 
the Kornilov revolt? And this, after all, had not only not been 
an overturn, but had even been made in honour of the Coali- 
tion. How could one tell that now something completely 
different had taken place? 

1 Antonov-Ovseyenko, Vladimir Alexandrovich (1884-1938): a Bolshevik from 
1903; of a military family; a leading figure in preparation of Bolshevik insurrection 
in October. Member of Trotskyite opposition, 1923-28; sent to Spain by Soviet 
Government during the Spanish Civil War; on his return to Russia was shot. (Ed.) 


In the Winter Palace it was quite impossible to tell. But 
Smolny didn't appreciate it either. If it kadbten possible to tell 
in the Winter Palace, one would have thought that a desperate 
attempt to destroy Smolny then and there would have been 
inevitable. If Smolny had appreciated it, one would have 
thought that the inevitability of such an attempt on the part of 
the Winter Palace should have been manifest; and it would have 
been vital to liquidate the Winter Palace at once, at one blow, 
in order to forestall it. 

But no, both sides thought the business of an overturn had not 
yet begun. The Winter Palace didn't care a rap for the vote of 
October 2ist, while Smolny silently, gropingly, cautiously, 
chaotically, moved on to something that in essence appeared to 
be an overturn, but was actually only its formal recognition. 

A few hours after the meeting of the garrison, on Saturday 
night, October 2ist, representatives of the Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee went to see the District Commander, 
Polkovnikov. They demanded the right to countersign all Staff 
orders to the garrison. Polkovnikov categorically refused. The 
Smolny delegates withdrew. 

The General Staff was the General Staff of an enemy army. The 
correct tactics (according to Marx) required that the insurgents, 
being the attacking side, destroy, shatter, paralyse, and liquidate 
this centre of the whole enemy organization in one annihilating 
onslaught. A detachment of 300 volunteers sailors, workers, 
party soldiers could have done this without the slightest 
difficulty; at that time the possibility of such a raid had not even 
entered anyone's head. 

But Smolny acted differently. The Bolsheviks went to the 
enemy and said : We demand power over you. 

The action of the Military Revolutionary Committee on the 
night of October 2 ist was completely superfluous. It might have 
proved extremely dangerous, if it had provoked a proper 
response from the Staff. But it turned out to be completely safe: 
the District Commander didn't understand this action and 
didn't respond adequately. He could have arrested the delegates 
of a 'private organization', which (like Kornilov on August 26th) 
was demanding power over the highest military authority and 


was definitely embarking on a revolt. Then Polkovnikov might 
have collected 500 military cadets, officers and Cossacks, and 
made an attempt to destroy, shatter, and paralyse Smolny. At 
that moment he had more than a few chances of success; in any 
case, it would seem, nothing else was left for him to do. 

But the Staff understood nothing. Indeed, as a matter of fact 
this was not the first time the Soviet had wished to countersign 
its orders. During the April Days, after all, something similar 
had been announced by the garrison without any warning: 
that the commander was not to take troops out of the barracks 
without the permission of certain Soviet Mensheviks and SRs. 
And there was no revolt and no overturn at all there. The 
matter was very satisfactorily settled with Miliukov and Guch- 
kov in the Liaison Commission. So why should they think of 
overturns or revolts now? Polkovnikov categorically refused : the 
delegates left empty-handed. All was well. 

The next day, Sunday, the District Commander gave the 
journalists an authoritative explanation of the inwardness of the 
conflict that had taken place. The point, you see, was that the 
Government refused to confirm a Commissar sent to the Staff by 
the Petersburg Soviet. The Government would not recognize a 
Bolshevik in such a post. Besides, there was already a Commissar 
on the Staff, sent by the Central Ex. Com. In addition, in the 
units of the Petersburg garrison recently new elections for unit 
Commissars had been energetically proceeding: Mensheviks and 
SRs were being thrown out and replaced everywhere by 
Bolsheviks. The Government protested against the elections. 
That was the essence of the conflict. But it was to be hoped that 
it would be smoothed over. 

The whole attention of the Winter Palace and the Staff was 
fixed on street demonstrations. It was in case they happened that 
'steps had been taken'. But there were no demonstrations. 
Hence, all was well. It was possible to occupy oneself with 
current business. 

On Sunday, October 22, the Council of Ministers was occu- 
pied with it. Kerensky, however, also went into the question 
of the preservation of order. He had an excellent command of 
the essence of the conflict between the Staff and Smolny. 
Polkovnikov had given him a detailed report. You can't baffle 
sensible, statesmanlike people: Moscow once burned because 


of a copeck candle; not so long ago, the World War had begun 
because of the assassination of an Austrian Crown Prince; and 
the conflict between Smolny and the Staff arose from the non- 
confirmation of a commissar. . . 

It was all clear enough, but all the same Kerensky, according 
to reports, insisted on the definitive liquidation of the Military 
Revolutionary Committee. He was determined. But Polkov- 
nikov persuaded him to wait a little: he would fix things! 
Kerensky began waiting. 

Meanwhile the Soviet began assembling in Smolny for an 
emergency session. The delegates arrived haphazardly. Most of 
them had been holding mass-meetings in the factories and else- 
where. But the point was not the deputies, it was the representa- 
tives of the regiments, who had again been assembled as an 
emergency measure. Trotsky flew to them and explained the 
new state of affairs. It seemed the Staff did not agree to submit 
to the control of the Military Revolutionary Committee. Very 
odd, what? But one way or another it imposed a 'further 

The further step was in the form of a telephone message, sent 
out at once to all units of the garrison in the name of the 
Soviet; it read: 'At a meeting on October 2ist the revolutionary 
garrison of Petersburg rallied around the Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee as its governing body. In spite of this the 
Staff of the Petersburg military area has failed to recognize 
the Military Revolutionary Committee, and refuses to carry on 
work jointly with the representatives of the Soldiers' Section of 
the Soviet. By this very fact the Staff has broken with the 
revolutionary garrison and the Petersburg Soviet. By breaking 
with the organized garrison of the capital, the Staff has made 
itself the tool of counter-revolutionary forces. The Military 
Revolutionary Committee divests itself of any responsibility for 
the actions of the Staff. . . 

'Soldiers of Petersburg! The defence of revolutionary order 
against counter-revolutionary attacks is incumbent on you, 
under the leadership of the Military Revolutionary Committee. 
No orders to the garrison, not signed by the Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee, are valid. All Soviet orders for today, the 


Day of the Petersburg Soviet, remain in full force. Vigilance, 
firmness, and unwavering discipline is the duty of every soldier 
of the garrison. The revolution is in danger! Long live the 
revolutionary garrison P 

The premises of this document are completely hollow: merely 
awesome agitational words with very naive content. But the 
conclusions are extremely substantial the garrison was not to 
execute the orders of the legal authorities. 

Now this was definitely an insurrectionary act. Hostilities had 
definitely begun before the eyes of the whole nation. But, at 
the same time, weren't troops moved up to occupy the Staff, 
railway stations, telegraphs, telephones, and other centres of the 
capital? And detachments also sent to arrest the Provisional 
Government? After all, you can't declare war unequivocally 
and definitely before the country and the army and not begin 
combat activities, to anticipate the initiative's passing into the 
hands of the enemy. 

This, however, was just what had happened. War had been 
declared in unmistakable terms, but combat activities were not 
begun. No one attacked either the Staff or the Provisional 
Government. . , This, to put it mildly, was not according to 
Marx. And nevertheless this kind of conduct proved quite safe. 

After receiving the declaration of war, without being either 
arrested or hampered in their movements, did the Staff take the 
initiative into its own hands? Did it fling itself on the mutineers 
in a last desperate attempt to defend the State and the revolu- 
tion against the seditious Bolsheviks? The Staff did nothing of 
the sort. 

Instead of combat activities Polkovnikov scheduled a Staff 
meeting. Representatives of the Central Ex. Com., the Peters- 
burg Soviet, and the regimental committees were invited to it. 
Smolny sent the well-known Bolshevik second-lieutenant 
Dashkevich with two or three representatives of the garrison 
meeting that had just ended. Dashkevich tersely repeated the 
decision of this meeting, that is, the content of the telephone 
message given above: all Staff orders to be countersigned, 
otherwise they would not be executed. . . Then the Smolny 
delegation withdrew, having refused to listen to their opponents. 

At the Staff they began chattering about what to do. A few 
representatives from the garrison committees reported on the 


mood of their units. They, of course, couldn't tell the district 
commander anything reassuring. But then the Staff began 
reassuring itself: the conflict, after all, had arisen because of the 
non-confirmation of a Commissar; that was nothing; it had 
happened only because someone selected by the Central Ex. 
Com. had already been confirmed. Somehow things would be 
smoothed over. . . In the newspapers we read: 'After a brief 
exchange of opinions no definite decisions were taken; it was 
considered necessary to wait for the resolution of the conflict 
between the Central Ex. Com. and the Petersburg Soviet/ 
(Reck, No. 250.) 

Very good. But really were the Bolsheviks timid, un- 
conscious, and clumsy, or did they know whom they were deal- 
ing with? Was this a criminally light-minded risk on their part, 
or were they acting on a certainty? 

Now, what forces did Kerensky have? There was, of course, 
first of all, the garrison of the capital in general. After all, all 
power was in the hands of the Provisional Government; the 
local army authorities were at their posts, and we are familiar 
with their reports : 'There are no grounds for thinking the garri- 
son won't obey orders/ Without this conviction, of course, the 
entire picture of the conduct of the Winter Palace and Staff 
would have been different. 

But nevertheless specially reliable units, which could be de- 
pended on without any risk and to any extent, might have to be 
used against the Bolsheviks. This had been acknowledged, after 
all, even in August, when the 3rd Corps had been called back 
from the front. And since then specially reliable cadres which 
might be needed against the internal enemy had been sought. 
This same 3rd Corps, at the head of which Kornilov himself had 
placed the arch-reactionary* General Krasnov, was stationed in 
the suburbs of Petersburg. Kerensky, at the beginning of Sep- 
tember, in a coded telegram in Krasnov's name, had ordered 
this corps to be stationed in Gatchina, Tsarskoe, and Peterhof. 
Part of the corps had recently been distributed in the nearer 
parts of the province for the pacification of the rebellious 
garrisons. Nevertheless Krasnov's Cossacks would have been a 
grave threat to the Bolsheviks if the neighbouring Bolsheviks 


had not done some serious work amongst them and promised 
them peace and immediate departure to their beloved Don. . . 

But in any case these units were considered especially reliable. 
Once again, as in August, Kerensky turned to them first of all. 
The Bolsheviks, however, had taken their own measures. The 
northern district Soviet Congress had sufficiently strengthened 
their military organization. The movements of the Cossacks met 
with every possible technical obstacle. And in the course of the 
next three days the Cossacks failed to reach Petersburg. But I'm 
not saying that on the night of the 22nd Kerensky ordered the 
Krasnov men to advance; rather, he simply told them to stay at 
the ready. 

Besides the Cossacks, the military cadets were of course con- 
sidered especially reliable. The Bolsheviks partly through per- 
suasion and threats, partly through technical means had had an 
effect on them too. Not many of them came to Petersburg from 
the provinces on Kerensky 's order. But in any case, from the 23rd 
on the Winter Palace was guarded primarily by military cadets. 

That same night Kerensky and Bagratuni 1 gave orders for a 
bicycle battalion to be called to Petersburg. The battalion was 
about to move, but then decided to ask Smolny: why were they 
being called up and must they go? Smolny, 'with fraternal 
greetings', replied, of course, that it was quite unnecessary. . . 

In general this question of calling up specially reliable troops 
was not easy at all. But there was nothing to be particularly 
alarmed about. After all, it was only just in case. . . There might 
be no demonstration. 'Soviet Day' had passed without excesses. . . 
The Bolsheviks, to be sure, had executed their decision: Staff 
orders really were being controlled by local unit Commissars. 
Nevertheless, orders were being obeyed. 

But just what orders did the Staff give that night and the 
following day? Orders about sentries and uniforms. They were 
checked on, but obeyed. And the sentries and uniforms in those 
days may be said to have been brilliant. Hence, all was well. 

In the Pre-Parliament, from the morning of Monday the 23rd 
on, in a rather empty hall, boring debates on foreign policy 
flowed on peacefully. There had been some alarm the day 

1 A general who replaced Colonel Polkovnikov as District Commander. (Ed.) 


before it was the stormy 'Soviet Day' but everything passed 
over and serious people went back to their current business. . . 
Various microscopic fractions talked. Yawning deputies lazily 
heckled the speakers. 

I don't recall any liveliness in the corridors either. I don't 
recall any special reaction to the extraordinary events. Bol- 
sheviks? Oh well, after all, them. . . I attacked my fraction com- 
rades and demanded a debate on the general political problem. 
But in spite of the sympathy of many nothing came of it. As 
before Martov thought untimely a resolute offensive and the line 
of immediate and thoroughgoing liquidation of 'Kerenskyism'. 

In Smolny during those hours everything pursued its course. 
The Military Revolutionary Committee was in session, and the 
work was ceaseless; but only the Bolsheviks worked. Smolny had 
changed considerably during those days. The sections of the 
Central Ex. Com. were doing hardly any work and their second- 
floor rooms were shut up. But Smolny hummed with a new 
crowd, quite grey in aspect. Everything was dirty and untidy 
and smelt of cheap tobacco, boots, and damp greatcoats. 
Armed groups of soldiers, sailors, and workers scurried about 
everywhere. Grey wolves lived in Smolny now, and they were 
going on with their work. 

The Military Revolutionary Committee passed on to the next 
point on the agenda. This was of special importance: the Com- 
missar assigned to the Peter-Paul Fortress turned up with the 
information that the Commandant refused to recognize him and 
had threatened him with arrest. Thus the Fortress must be con- 
sidered to be in the hands of the Government. This created 
enormous difficulties apart from the fact that the Peter-Paul 
had an arsenal of a hundred thousand rifles. To take the 
Fortress by force after the beginning of military action was more 
than risky; besides, the Government might hide there until 
troops arrived from the front to rescue them. 

It was necessary to take the Peter-Paul quickly, before the 
Government stopped debating and started doing something to 
protect itself. Two methods were proposed for taking over the 
Fortress. Antonov proposed to bring in a reliable battalion of the 
Pavlovskys immediately and disarm the garrison of the Fortress. 


But in the first place this involved a risk; secondly, it was 
essentially an act of war, after which it would be necessary to 
attack at once and liquidate the Government. Trotsky had 
another proposal, namely, that he, Trotsky, go to the Fortress, 
hold a meeting there, and capture not the body but the spirit of 
the garrison. In the first place there would be no risk in that, 
secondly it might be that even after this the Government would 
go on living in Nirvana and allow Smolny to extend its 
authority further and further without let or hindrance. 

No sooner said than done. Trotsky set off at once, together 
with Lashevich. Their harangues were enthusiastically received. 
The garrison, almost unanimously, passed a resolution about 
the Soviet regime and its own readiness to rise up, weapons in 
hand, against the bourgeois Government. A Smolny Com- 
missar was installed in the Fortress, under the protection of the 
garrison, and refused to recognize the Commandant. A hundred 
thousand extra rifles were in the hands of the Bolsheviks. 

What the Government thought about all this, and what they 
were saying about it on the General Staff I have no idea. But 
neither in one place nor the other did they do anything in the course 
of that whole day, until far into the night. 

After an interval, in the early evening hours, the debates in 
the Pre-Parliament on foreign policy were resumed. I don't re- 
call any talk in the corridors about what was going on; I don't 
think anything was known about the taking of the Peter-Paul. 
But in the hall it was somewhat more cheerful. There were lots 
of deputies. The certified Soviet diplomat Skobelev made a 
curious speech: in vulgarly threadbare, empty generalities he 
'expounded 3 the diplomatic wisdom of Ribot and Bonar Law. It 
was comical to listen to. 

But the centre was Martov's speech. This was perhaps the 
most brilliant speech I ever heard him give. Indeed, even the 
Right had never heard such a speech from its golden-tongued 
orators in the Duma. They got angry and interrupted. But this 
poured oil on the fire; Martov got off a whole pyrotechnical 
display of images welded into a firm artistic monolith. It was 
impossible not to be gripped by his oratorical power. And the 
audience gave it due appreciation. 


But what did Martov talk about? He spoke of the revolution, 
and of the crisis, its cause and conditions. It was not only 
brilliant, but also remarkable for intellectual grasp and pro- 
fundity. The content of the speech far overflowed the confines of 
foreign policy; this was the philosophy of the moment. And it was 
a passionate accusation of the ruling circles. But it was not the 
political act the moment demanded. It lacked the right political 
conclusions. It by-passed the stupendous current events. At the 
critical moment of the revolution Martov failed to find the 
indispensable words or perform the indispensable act he was 
capable of. 

I listened, paying tribute to Martov the orator, but made 
deeply indignant in the last analysis by this speech. . . Teresh- 
chenko spoke a toothless polemic. But the hall was already 
thinning out. It was near evening. In the ministerial seats the 
white, exhausted face of Kerensky was glimpsed and vanished. 
He didn't speak. About 8 o'clock the meeting closed. 

'What a brilliant speech Martov made! 5 Lapinsky said to me 
in the corridor, with even a note of surprise. 

I angrily shrugged my shoulders. 

While the Pre-Parliament was sitting in the Marian, the 
garrison representatives had gathered again in Smolny. But 
there was no reason for it. They had been assembled only for 
liaison and contact. Those who had come were invited to the 
Soviet session, which opened at 7 o'clock and was very crowded. 

It began with the usual type of agitation, not at all reminiscent 
of the start of the 'final decisive battle'. Only Antonov recalled 
one to current events, reporting on the activities of the Military 
Revolutionary Committee. 

An odd scene. The chief of staff of the insurgent troops was 
making a resounding report on all the measures and tactical 
steps of his staff listened to not only by his own army, but also 
by the enemy army and its staff. The commander of the insur- 
gent troops was announcing publicly: we have begun to conquer 
and disarm the enemy this way and that, and we're going to go 
on as we see fit. 

Antonov reported: the Military Revolutionary Committee 
officially began operations on the 20th. Since then it had taken 


the following steps (of a definitely rebellious nature): (i) All 
'suspect' printing orders now required its sanction; (2) there 
were Commissars in all the garrison units through whom all 
Staff orders had to pass; (3) there was also a Commissar in the 
Peter-Paul Fortress and the Fortress arsenal was now available; 
(4) arms in all the factory stores and others would be given out 
only on the Military Revolutionary Committee's orders. 

He went on to say: the Commissars were objected to by the 
Staff, but that didn't change anything. Yesterday the Staff 
suggested that the Military Revolutionary Committee start 
negotiations with it, but these conversations didn't change any- 
thing either. Today the Staff had demanded the cancellation of 
the telephone message about the preliminary control of its 
orders; besides this, the Staff proposed to form a Staff Council 
without the right of veto instead of the Military Revolutionary 
Committee; but the Military Revolutionary Committee had 
rejected these demands. And today the Commissars had been 
holding mass-meetings in all units; the garrison had reaffirmed 
its adherence to the Military Revolutionary Committee. 

He was asked: did he know that troops loyal to the Govern- 
ment had been summoned to Petersburg from various points at 
the front and from the suburbs? What steps was the Military 
Revolutionary Committee taking? Antonov replied: the calling 
up of the troops and their movements were known; some of 
these troops would be held up, others were themselves refusing 
to inarch; it was only a few military cadet detachments there 
was no information about. 

So everyone had heard how the insurrection was going. Did 
anyone feel like expressing his opinion?. . . The Mensheviks and 
SRs said that an insurrection was going on, that the Bolsheviks 
were seizing power and that all this threatened disaster. The 
Menshevik-Internationalist Astrov, a very bitter controversialist, 
specially emphasized the disastrousness of the split within the 
democracy: this was unjustified if only because the Bolsheviks 
themselves were not unanimous on the question of the insurrec- 
tion; nothing would come of it but a bloody skirmish. Astrov 
worked up the meeting to such a point that Trotsky refused to 
continue as chairman. Trotsky's success as speaker, however, 
was all the greater. 

'Yes,' he said, 'an insurrection is going on, and the Bolsheviks, 


in the form of the Congress majority, will take the power into 
their own hands. The steps taken by the Military Revolutionary 
Committee are steps for the seizure of power.' 

Had everybody heard? Or was it still not clear enough? 

A resolution was passed: the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee's measures were approved; it was also charged with 
taking steps against riots, plundering, and other attempts to 
destroy order and the safety of the citizenry. 

That same evening Smolny got a wire from Helsingfors, from 
the Baltic Fleet. The Fleet said it was attentively listening for 
every movement of both camps. At the first call from Smolny it 
would move its forces against the counter-revolution. This was 
not only a reliable Bolshevik force, but an active one. A decisive 
blow without this force would have been risky in the extreme. 
But for the time being Smolny didn't summon it. 

Around n o'clock I was sitting in the newspaper office 
hurriedly finishing my leading article. It was on the same theme 
I had formulated an hour before at a session of the Bureau. 
The overturn which was giving the power to the Bolshevik 
Party was a dangerous adventure. It could only be forestalled 
and the revolution corrected by a decisive change of front on the 
part of the Menshevik-SR ruling circles. 

An odd little incident arose from this leading article. I read it 
to Bazarov and Avilov, 1 who were waiting for me to finish. 
Avilov, who had long since moved far from Lenin, abruptly 
objected strongly to the expression 'The Bolsheviks are pre- 
paring a coup d'etat .' This still seemed to him doubtful, and such 
an expression tactless. This made me lose my temper; Bazarov 
supported me, but Avilov persisted. We were all tense. Bazarov 
began shouting at Avilov, Avilov at Bazarov, both of them at 
me, and I at both of them. I flung the article into the waste- 
paper basket, but it was needed. We got it out and, continuing 
to shout at each other, went to the door. Avilov and Bazarov 
went home, and I to the printers' to get out the paper. 

1 Avilov, Boris Vasilyevich (1874- ? ) : a Bolshevik until February 1917, later 
an editor of Novaya ^hizn. (Ed.) 


During that night of the 23rd work was going on at the 
General Staff too. Kerensky again went there for the night. But 
what could he do? It must have seemed time to act. Whatever 
his thoughts, and however he concealed the danger from him- 
self, it was evidently impossible to wait any longer. The Peter- 
Paul had been taken, the arsenal had been seized, the Staff's 
demand that the Commissars should be removed had been 
refused, and it had been announced in unmistakable terms : % 
Smolny, will certainly gobble you up, Kerenskyism, whenever I 
feel like it.' He must act now or never. 

The specially reliable units had now all been called up. If they 
didn't come, there was nothing to be done about it. Nevertheless 
detachments had been formed for the defence of the Winter 
Palace; guard-duties were being performed. In the city, of 
course, there were loyal elements, if not troops. It might be 
possible to form a detachment of several thousands from military 
cadets, the women's services, engineers, and Cossacks. A scratch 
detachment like that might be quite effective. But a firm 
decision to act and attack had to be made. 

The Staff had made no effort to form a scratch detachment. 
It was muddled and vacillating. And it began to 'act' in the 
habitual way, quite safely for the adversary, and not involving 
any risk whatever for itself. That night the Staff wrote a 
whole pile of orders. First, to avoid the seizure of motor-cars by 
the insurgents, all owners were ordered to place their cars at the 
disposition of the Staff; the 'full rigour of the law' was promised 
for disobedience, but it goes without saying that not one loyal 
bourgeois responded to this, and during the day the Staff lost 
even those cars it had. Secondly, all demonstrations were again 
prohibited 'on pain of arrest for armed rebellion' ; execution by 
the troops of 'orders' emanating from Various organizations' was 
also prohibited. Thirdly, an appeal to company, regimental, 
and brigade committees also announced that the District Com- 
mander's orders had to be obeyed : 'there are Central Ex. Com. 
Commissars on the Staff and therefore ( ! !) non-execution of 
orders would cause the disorganization and shattering of the 
revolutionary garrison'. For his part the Central Ex. Com. 
Commissar 'seconded the execution of the Staff's orders', 
pointing out that 'they were issued with his knowledge'. 

Are you laughing, reader? Does the picture seem too pathetic? 


I can't help it. The sovereign Government could emit only this 
empty babbling. 

But is it possible that it didn't even dare call its enemy, not by 
an allusion, but by his real name? Can it be possible that it did 
not even permit itself in the Cabinet confidentially, between 
Kerensky and Polkovnikov to write down something with 
greater real content? Paper, after all, will stand for anything, 
Bolder, bolder! 

Kerensky and Polkovnikov wrote: 'In view of the illegal 
activities of the representatives of the Petersburg Soviet assigned 
as Commissars to the units, institutions, and departments of the 
War Office, I order (i) all Commissars of the Petersburg Soviet 
to be removed until their confirmation by a Government Com- 
missar of the district, (2) all illegal activities to be investigated 
for submission to a court martial, (3) all illegal activities to be 
reported to me instantly with an indication of the name of the 
Commissars. Polkovnikov.' 

You can see that despair gives courage. The 'court martial', of 
course, was rhetoric as before. And as for removing the Com- 
missars who would remove them? In the units, after all, the 
order would fall into the hands of those very Commissars, who 
had already removed everyone who didn't obey them. So though 
it may have been bold enough, it wasn't very businesslike. 

But the activity of the Staff that night was not limited to this. 
Towards morning the Staff had finally grown bold, or else 
desperate. And it decided to start fighting. . . What, did it send a 
detachment to seize Smolny, where there was no longer the 
democracy but only Bolshevik rebels? No, that would have been 
too much. The Staff did something else. I emphasize: in prin- 
ciple this was no less a destruction of constitutional guarantees and 
liberties and no less an act of violence than the seizure of mutinous 
Smolny would have been. But to make up for this the measure 
undertaken was first customary, secondly facile and cowardly, 
thirdly empty and futile. This was just as much as the wisdom 
and efficiency of the Provisional Government were equal to. 

At 6 in the morning, on Polkovnikov's order, a few mili- 
tary cadets, headed by a Commissar of Militia, appeared at 
the offices of the Bolshevik papers Rabochii Put and Soldat (The 
Soldier) and announced that the papers were shut down. The 
responsible editor met the 'legitimate authorities' with wide- 


open eyes: what? did Polkovnikov still exist, or any Government 
at all except the Military Revolutionary Committee? He was 
assured that they did, and the cadets ruined the matrices, sealed 
the printing-presses, and destroyed the numbers already printed. 

This was what it was equal to! After this, to pass off its 
cowardliness as democratic spirit and its simple-mindedness 
as respect for freedom was impossible (as indeed it had been 
before). The Bolshevik papers, you see, were calling for an 
insurrection, and so were destroyed, only to revive the very next 
day, while Smolny and the unit Commissars had already made 
the insurrection long ago, and they didn't lay a finger on them 
out of democracy and love of liberty! 

Nevertheless all the data indicate that the scene in the print- 
ing-shop could have been successfully repeated in Smolny too. 
There too they had so little belief in Polkovnikov that a good 
scratch detachment wouldn't have had much trouble. Some 
resistance would probably have been shown, and the affair 
wouldn't have come off without skirmishing, but the liquidation 
of Smolny was possible, 

And the same question again: Why didn't the Military 
Revolutionary Committee attack and strike a decisive blow? 
If there is some reason to believe that Smolny could have been 
smashed, there can be no doubt at all that it would have been 
easy to occupy the Staff and seize the Ministers. In the last 
analysis there could be only one answer: from political considera- 
tions they were postponing the final blow until the Congress on 
the 25th. This was a tremendous risk which I think it would 
have been impossible to take on a cold calculation of all 
possible chances. But it reveals the most characteristic trait of 
this whole unprecedented insurrection: the insurgent camp, 
seeing no real strength in its adversary, acted with absolute 
irresponsibility, allowing itself something that is impossible in 
war, in manoeuvres, or in a chess game. 

In those pre-dawn hours of October 24th, when Kerensky 
started combat activities by swooping down on the Bolshevik 
press, two torpedo-boats came into Petersburg from Helsingfors. 
They had been sent by the Baltic Fleet to support the insurrec- 
tion. Smolny for the time being hadn't called them. But the 
sailors themselves had sent them, under the pretext of 'greeting 
the Congress 5 . 



EARLY in the morning of the 24th the Military Revolutionary 
Committee learned of the destruction of its press. It im- 
mediately set to work. It occupied the city, the Staff, and the 
Winter Palace, didn't it? Oh no this is what it did. 

First it sent a telephone message to all army units: 'The 
Petersburg Soviet is threatened; during the night counter- 
revolutionary conspirators (Very good!') attempted to call out 
the military cadets and the shock battalions; we order a regi- 
ment in battle readiness to be brought up and await further 
orders. . . For the Chairman, PODVOISKY. Secretary: ANTONOV/ 

Then detachments of Lithuanians and Sappers were sent to 
the printing-presses of the shut-down newspapers. The printing- 
presses were unsealed and set in motion under the protection of 
the Military Revolutionary Committee's troops. 

Further, two proclamations were drawn up. One said: 'The 
enemies of the people passed over to the attack during the night 
and are contemplating a treacherous blow against the Soviet; 
therefore the regimental and company committees and the 
Commissars must meet at once; no one must leave the barracks; 
firmness must be maintained, doubts avoided. The people's 
cause is in firm hands.' The second proclamation spoke of the 
struggle against riots and disorders: the Military Revolutionary 
Committee was on guard; the criminal pogromists and agents 
of the counter-revolution would be wiped off the face of the 
earth; the populace was called upon to restrain hooligans and 
Black Hundred agitators. 

But alongside all this the Military Revolutionary Committee 
thought it necessary to publish this ruling of its own on October 
24th: 'In spite of all kinds of rumours, the Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee states that it definitely does not exist to pre- 
pare and execute a seizure of power, but exclusively to defend 
the interests of the Petersburg garrison from counter-revolu- 
tionaries and pogromist attacks/ A Novaya %hiz,n reporter 
asserts that this motion was passed unanimously. This was a 


special jibe at the Provisional Government. No one could have 
believed It any longer. 

Finally, together with the order to the garrison about battle 
readiness, still another important step was taken. Over Sverd- 
lov's signature a telegram in code was sent to Smilga, the chair- 
man of the Finnish district committee in Helsingfors: 'Send 
regulations.' This meant: send 1,500 picked sailors and soldiers 
to our aid. But at best, if no one and nothing hindered them, 
they could not be in Petersburg until twenty-four hours 

And it was only now, during the day and evening of the 24th, 
that armed detachments of Red Army militia-men and soldiers 
began to rally to Smolny to defend the staff of the insurrection. 
It's impossible to say how staunch or reliable they were. As we 
know their spirit was only moderate. The soldiers were well- 
disposed, but scarcely reliable. The workers were reliable, but 
scarcely steadfast, never having smelt powder in their lives. 
However, towards the evening of the 24th the defence of Smolny 
began to look like something. 

And that morning the Provisional Government assembled in 
the Winter Palace. They busied themselves with 'organic work', 
supply, etc. Then they proceeded to the 'situation that has 
arisen'. Kerensky again insisted on the arrest of the Military 
Revolutionary Committee. But the Minister of Justice, Malyan- 
tovich, and someone else objected. Then Kerensky decided to 
appeal to the Pre-Parliament and immediately set out for it. 
This was quite unnecessary and absurd. Limitless powers were 
available. Practice, tradition, and custom also allowed any 
arrests or attacks to be carried out : after all, hundreds of Bol- 
sheviks were sitting as before in the gaols, going hungry, vainly 
awaiting inquiries and the formulation of charges; as before, 
people were being seized and locked up for agitation as oppor- 
tunity presented itself. So why had a special question arisen 
about the arrest of a few Bolsheviks who were the core of a clear- 
cut revolt that had already started? Was it because there was a 
risk there of fighting and bloodshed? Nonsense! After all, they 
had equipped an expedition against the Durnovo villa with 
devastation and bloodshed. . . No, here there was simply a lack 


of resolution or boldness, just the decrepitude and impotence of 
'the sovereign Government 5 . 

But in any case some further combat measures were decided 
on. Which ones? Those within their capacities. Orders were 
given to raise all the bridges, except the Palace Bridge, in order 
to hinder marchers. They had enough forces for this; it had 
been tried once before on July 5th; it was futile, and even 

The raising of the bridges at once produced in the city the 
circumstances of a coup d*etat accomplished and disorders begun. 
The whole capital, hitherto quite tranquil, became agitated. 
Crowds began gathering in the streets. Armed detachments 
started moving; the bridge-raising had to be stopped, and 
where it had already taken place to be reversed. For these 
operations the Military Revolutionary Committee moved up 
workers and Red Army men. There were some small clashes at 
the bridges, or rather quarrels and friction. Neither side felt like 
a serious brawl. Depending on numbers, now the Red Army 
men would yield, now the military cadets. The bridges were 
lowered and raised again several times that day. 

Excitement and crowds were the sole result of the Govern- 
ment's new measure. Nevertheless there were no disorders. 
Shooting wasn't seen anywhere. To make up for that the most 
alarming 'reports' flew around the city all day. On the 24th 
everyone thought the coup had begun. 

Between 12 and i o'clock the Pre-Parliament opened. That 
too started off with 'organic work'. Nikitin, the Minister of the 
Interior, was making a report on local anarchy and the seizures 
of supplies in transit. But while he was speaking Kerensky 
appeared and hurried on to the platform immediately after 
Nikitin. White, excited, his eyes red with sleeplessness, but a 
little triumphant, he said the Government had instructed him 
to make a statement. 

But he made a lengthy speech: the Constituent Assembly and 
the consolidation of the revolution were imminent. The Pro- 
visional Government was protecting the freedom and rights of 
the populace. But enemies of the State Right and Left were 
leading to disaster by invoking dictatorship and insurrection. 


The Bolsheviks were preparing a coup d'ttat. There were incon- 
testable proofs of it. Kerensky proved this at length, quoting 
Rabochii Put and the articles of the political criminal Lenin- 
Ulyanov we are familiar with. Then he made a diversion: and 
all this while the Government, three weeks before the Con- 
stituent Assembly, 'was debating in a final form the question of 
transferring the land to the hands of the rural committees' and 
sending a delegation to Paris where 'amongst other questions 
steps for bringing nearer the conclusion of the war would be 
.submitted to the attention of the Allies'. Then the Premier gave 
an .account of the current conflict between Smolny and the 
Staff. The Government proposed, in the form of an ultimatum, 
the cancellation of the telephone message on control of the Staff. 
'Even though all data were available for immediate recourse to 
rigorous measures, the military authorities thought it best first 
to give the people every opportunity of rectifying their conscious 
or unconscious error' (exclamation from the Right: 'But that's 
just what's bad!)'. 'We had to do this also because no material 
consequences of this order were noticed amongst the troops the 
day it was announced.' 

'In general,' said Kerensky, 'I prefer the Government to act 
more slowly but, to make up for that, more correctly, and at the 
necessary moment more resolutely too.' But Smolny had delayed 
its reply to the ultimatum. It was not until 3 o'clock that 
morning that a vaguely conditional reply had been given. It was 
accepted as a declaration that the 'organizers had committed an 
illegal act, which they were repudiating'. (Miliukov from his 
seat: 'Highly original!') But of course this was a ruse on the part 
of Smolny: the cancellation of the telephone message was not 
announced to the regiments. And now Kerensky discovered 
that a part of the Petersburg population was in 'a state of 
insurgence*. The Government had begun a 'judicial investiga- 
tion'. Also, 'appropriate arrests were proposed'. 'The Provi- 
sional Government prefers to be killed and annihilated, but it 
will never betray the life, honour, and independence of the 

Kerensky was given an ovation. The audience in the galleries 
and the entire hall stood up and applauded except the Inter- 
nationalists. In his enthusiasm the Cadet Adzhemov ran for- 
ward, and cried, pointing his finger at us: 'Take a picture of 


them sitting down. 9 Kerensky went on: 'The Provisional 
Government is being reproached with . . / 

'Silliness!' Martov shouted out, amidst hubbub and excite- 
ment. The chairman called Martov to order. Kerensky went on: 

c . . . with weakness and extraordinary patience. But in any 
case no one has the right to say that for the whole time Fve 
been at its head, and before that too, it has resorted to any 
measures of pressure whatever until the State was threatened 
with immediate danger and destruction.' 

Kerensky spoke further of his firm support at the front. He 
had a whole series of telegrams demanding decisive measures 
against the Bolsheviks and promising support. Then Konovalov 
came over and handed him the new telephone message of the 
Military Revolutionary Committee, already known to us: it 
demanded the immediate preparation of the regiments for 
battle. Kerensky looked at the document and then read it 
aloud. 'In legal language this is called a state of insurrection.' 

There followed a patriotic statement about the menace of the 
foreign foe, and more about the virtues of the State and 
Kerensky's devotion to the principles of democracy. Finally the 
Premier finished his speech a warning on the one hand, and on 
the other, a demand addressed to the Pre-Parliament. 

Again everyone stood up and applauded except the 

In general Kerensky's speech, as we see, was quite super- 
fluous. From & formal point of view the Government was fully 
sovereign, and its most 'decisive' steps were lawful. And in fact 
contact had been achieved in the usual conversations with the 
Star Chamber: there might be conflict with that on any ground, 
but in the given circumstances the usual arrests of Bolsheviks 
would have passed off without a hitch. Kerensky made a speech 
simply because there was nothing else he could do. He made a 
speech instead of doing anything real. 

Nevertheless, read his speech: this man, after all, really 
believed he was doing something, just as he believed that in fact 
it was out of democracy and a feeling of legality and so on that 
he failed to destroy Smolny. Such was his nature. 

After Kerensky's speech the agenda was of course dis- 
organized. It was decided to make an immediate reply to the 
head of the State. But for this an interval and consultation and 


agreements between the fractions were essential. Everyone got 
up, amidst excitement and hubbub. I had stopped with some- 
one at the end of the long middle aisle leading from the rostrum, 
and from a distance saw Kerensky, pale and morose, accom- 
panied by his adjutants, advancing straight towards me from 
the depths of the auditorium. 

Step aside and avoid a face to face encounter? For some 
months we hadn't come across one another. Between us now 
there were the barricades, sans phrases. I had berated him daily 
in the press. He had shut down my press. From a distance 
Kerensky, his eyes narrowed, caught sight of me. We looked at 
each other, like Peter I and the musketeer in Surikov's famous 
picture. Coming up within a couple of paces, Kerensky evi- 
dently didn't know what to do. Then, rather abruptly, with a 
resolute gesture, but a glum look, he stretched out his hand. 

I never saw him again. 1 

The interval dragged on several hours, almost till evening. I 
must say I have no recollection at all of what our fraction 
decided. The Mensheviks and SRs turned to us and proposed 
that we should collect a majority under a Left wing. Opposition 
formula. By tacit consent the former delegates, Martov and I, 
were sent to this conference of Left fractions. We assembled 
below, doubtless in the apartments of the SR fraction. A gloomy 
rainy day of Petersburg late autumn looked into the huge 
windows facing out on Isaac Square. I think Martov was 
scribbling out a draft for a general Left formula. But the meeting 
didn't begin. First one of us, then another, then all of us to- 
gether, were distracted by the alarming rumours from the city 
and outskirts. There was talk about outbreaks beginning now 
here, now there. 

But there were none. We know that the Central Ex. Com. 
Commissar on the Staff had forbidden the soldiers to go out into 
the streets. But the very same order had been given by the 
Military Revolutionary Commission, and finally, by the troop 

1 After the October Revolution Kerensky emigrated, eventually to New York 
City. He wrote a number of articles and books, including Prelude to Bolshevism 
(1919), The Catastrophe (1927), etc. He has remained a leading figure in Emigre 
circles. (Ed.) 


commander too. Whichever order seemed most convincing to 
the troops, they didn't leave the barracks. Personally I ascribe 
this primarily to their mood. It was on the side of the Bolsheviks, 
but there was no intention of demonstrating and acting, i.e., taking 
a chance. Without an order in any case they would never have 
come out. It would be well if volunteers could be found to come 
out on Smolny orders, when armed masses were needed ! 

But nevertheless there was alarm in the streets. The raising of 
the bridges, and the cadet patrols, provoked some panic in the 
central sections of the city. There were not only groups of 
cadets on guard at the bridges, arguing with small groups of the 
workers' Red Guard; tiny detachments of them were posted in 
the railway stations too and at various points of the city, in the 
power station, the Ministries, etc. Cadet pickets were standing in 
the main streets, stopping and requisitioning motor-cars and 
sending them to the Staff. 

As a result, at about 2 o'clock government offices and shops 
began closing. The Nevsky crowd hurried home. In the midst of 
the tumult some hooligans appeared and began looting with 
great boldness, tearing clothing, footwear, and valuables off the 
passers-by. . . Towards evening, with the onset of the early 
autumn dusk, the streets were completely empty. But rumours 
took on the most monstrous forms. 

It was in the atmosphere of these rumours that our inter- 
fraction commission met. As far as I recall, Martov proved to be 
beatus possidens the happy possessor of a ready-made formula, 
which naturally was the basis of the discussion. It contained 
nothing like the confidence and support Kerensky demanded. 
It laid it down that the movement of the Bolsheviks had been 
provoked by the policy of the Government, and therefore peace 
had to be proposed immediately and the land transferred to the 
rural committees. As for the struggle against anarchy and 
possible pogroms, this struggle had to be assigned to a special 
Committee of Public Safety; it should be composed of repre- 
sentatives of the municipality and the organs of the revolu- 
tionary democracy, and should act in contact with the Pro- 
visional Government, 

This did not, of course, satisfy Kerensky's party comrades. 
But it didn't satisfy me either. Gots and Zenzinov were demand- 
ing at least some kind of 'support', while I was insisting on 


immediate liquidation. . . As far as I recall we never came to a 

final settlement. 

* * * 

The session of the Pre-Parliament was resumed at 6 o'clock. . . 
I had just stopped by the office for a moment and then hurried 
off for a bite to eat at the 'Vienna', two steps away from the 
Marian Palace. 

The Pre-Parliament hall wasn't crowded, but was very lively. 
Kamkov was on the platform and, to an uproar from the 
Right, was demanding the resignation of the Provisional 
Government and the formation of a Government of the demo- 
cracy. Quite sound conclusions, which no one else formulated 
from the Pre-Parliament rostrum. 

But the most interesting to us were the official representatives 
of the Menshevik-SR groups. Dan spoke in the name of the 
entire bloc : 

'The bulk of the working class will not embark on the criminal 
adventure the Bolsheviks are urging on it. . . But while we wish 
to struggle against Bolshevism in the most decisive way, we do 
not wish to be an instrument in the hands of that counter- 
revolution which is trying to gamble on the crushing of this 
uprising. . . It is the duty of everyone to do everything possible 
for a peaceful settlement of the conflict. . . It is essential to cut 
the ground away from under the feet of the Bolsheviks. First of 
all, the outcry of the masses of the people for peace must be 
satisfied. Not out of weakness, but out of revolutionary strength 
we must say that we are demanding immediate steps towards 
peace negotiations. Further, we must raise the question of the 
land in such a way as to leave no one in any doubt. . . We don't 
want any government crisis, and we are ready to defend the 
Provisional Government, but let it make it possible for the 
democracy to rally round it.' 

This was the contribution of the interstitial groups at the final 
hour : We don't want to be an instrument of the Kornilovites, 
but we shall defend the Government (and are already doing so). 

Limping on one leg Martov came on to the platform. 

'Minister in the future Bolshevik Cabinet' was heard from the 

C I am shortsighted', retorted Martov, "and can't see whether 
that wasn't a former Minister of Kornilov's Cabinet!' 


c ln no circumstances', he went on, 'shall we collaborate with 
Kornilovites. The words of Kerensky, who permitted himself 
to talk about a rabble, when it is a question of the movement 
of a considerable part of the proletariat and the army, even 
though it is being directed towards mistaken goals those words 
are a summons to civil war. But I have not lost hope that the 
democracy that is not taking part in the preparation of an 
armed demonstration will not permit the victory of those people 
who are trying to prevent the development of the revolution. . . 
The democracy must tell the Government that it will receive no 
support from them unless it gives immediate guarantees that the 
most vital needs of the country will be realized. . . I am sure 
that the senseless policy of repression and of hasty measures may 
provoke a desperate attempt on the part of the masses to join an 
uprising which they do not want. . . Therefore our fraction is 
appealing to all elements of the democracy to force the official 
circles now ruling in the name of Russia to carry on a demo- 
cratic policy and thus prevent civil war.' 

In essence Martov said almost everything he should. But 
this 'almost* was the main point. 'Force those ruling . . .' But 
was this really possible in the final hour? In form this was 
parliamentary diplomacy did it have a place amidst the 

The official speaker for our fraction, limping on one leg, was 
not up to the occasion. 

To make up for it he had a parliamentary success. . . A short 
interval was announced. And the Left fractions agreed, as an 
emergency, to vote for Martov's formula. In general we are 
already acquainted with it. First of all, it expressed a negative 
attitude to the Bolshevik uprising; secondly, it laid it down that 
it was the policy of the Government that had prepared the 
ground for the uprising, and called for immediate guarantees 
concerning peace and the land; thirdly, it proposed that the 
technical measures of combating the uprising be entrusted not to 
the Government, but to the Committee of Public Safety acting 
in 'contact' with the official authorities. 

The other formula of the Cadets and Co-operative people 
'declared confidence in 3 , 'supported', and demanded decisive 
measures against the uprising. 

The tired deputies were nervous, excited, and wrangling with 


each other. . . The interval brought a whole series of alarming 
rumours. The Bolsheviks had begun. . . 

The voting began. Martov's formula was passed by a majority 
of 122 to 102. . . 

A storm of applause on the Left. The Right was thunder- 
struck. First of all, that morning, after all, the Internationalists 
had been completely isolated everyone else had taken part in 
the ovation for Kerensky. Secondly what was to be done? 

The session ended at 8.30. But the deputies did not disperse. 
The hall was filled with hubbub and mass-meetings. The 
Right wing fell on the Mensheviks and SRs. What had they 
started? They had been asked for support, which they were 
waiting for in the Winter Palace. And what they had done in 
essence was to express a lack of confidence ! The Government 
now ought to resign. At a critical hour it was left without sup- 
port, and the country without a Government. 

This view of the formula was fundamentally correct. But the 
Mensheviks and SRs, under the pressure of the Cadets, lost no 
time in getting confused and began hastily retreating. Come, 
come ! We meant to put no such idea into the formula. We think 
a crisis untimely. We just wanted well, after all, the pro- 
gramme promised should be put into effect. . . 

But in the Winter Palace they were waiting for a formula. It 
was, after all, necessary for 'decisive measures'. . . At 9 o'clock in 
the evening the Government assembled in the Malachite Hall. 
The Chairman of the 'Council of the Republic' hurried there 
with the formula. 

The Premier, after a quick glance, expressed surprise. Why 
wasn't there the usual parliamentary vote of confidence? 
Avksentiev didn't have to grope for a reply: it was missing by 
an oversight. The Premier, reading more carefully, exclaimed : 
'Why, in a concealed form there's actually no confidence !' Every- 
one in the Malachite Hall was stupefied. No one had expected a 
surprise like this. No one had had any doubt that the over- 
whelming majority of the Pre-Parliament would be an adaman- 
tine wall around its powerful Government and would emphasize 
the complete isolation of the handful of Internationalists. 

Kerensky declared that in these circumstances he thought it 


necessary to surrender his mandate. Let the Praesidium of the 
Pre-Parliament form another Government. But by now the 
Chairman of the Council of the Republic was at a loss. 

'Wait/ he said, 'I'll ask for the assistance of a couple of 
friends. 5 

No sooner said than done. Fifteen minutes later the assistance 
was in the Malachite Hall. All three began to prevail upon Boris 
Godunov: the terribly able Avksentiev, the terribly influential 
Gots, and the terribly cautious Dan. Come, come, we meant 
nothing of the sort! Kerensky himself had declared that morning 
that the Government would concern itself with the land and 
with peace. We support this. We emphasized it only to steal the 
Bolsheviks' thunder, and also to destroy the legend that the 
Government and the Pre-Parliament were enemies of the 
people. . . 

Kerensky listened, but continued gently reprimanding the 
mischievous schoolboys: *Yes, but these satisfactory comments 
do not change the formula; the country, after all, would under- 
stand it only as a lack of confidence, and the Government's 
prestige would be destroyed.' 

This was reasonable. Here Dan was evidently at a loss, even 
though he thought a 'government crisis untimely'. Judging by 
the papers, the weight of this last argument fell to the SRs. 

The formula, they declared, was the result of a general mis- 
understanding. Not one of the SRs could have had any thought 
of a lack of confidence. It was unsuccessful phraseology the 
result of haste. 

Kerensky said he would consult with his colleagues. And the 
colleagues assembled to consider decisive measures against the 
Bolsheviks on the basis of a formula expressing support. The 
Minister conferred, and by virtue of patriotic considerations 
decided to forgive the Pre-Parliament this time in order not to 
leave Russia without a strong Government at a perilous moment. 
The Cabinet decided to remain at the helm. All's well that ends 
well says the people's wisdom. 

The representatives of the 'whole democracy' had barely dis- 
persed from the Winter Palace when the Premier got a report 
that all was well in the streets, but that a detachment of twelve 


sailors, led by a very well-armed Commissar, had occupied the 
Government telegraph agency. The Commissar was already 
lording it there and imposing a censorship on wires to the 
provinces. . . 

The Government immediately took 'decisive steps', A detach- 
ment of military cadets with an armoured car was sent to the 
telegraph agency. Outnumbered by the enemy, the twelve 
sailors surrendered without a struggle. And then another 
decisive step was taken at once. On the order of the authorities 
the telephone central exchange cut off all Smolny's telephones. 
The Military Revolutionary Committee found itself cut off from 
the garrison. Communication was only possible through 
couriers a very substantial inconvenience. 

As we see, these two decisive steps were highly indicative of 
the course of the uprising and its character. There is no doubt 
that the affair had been formulated by Smolny without sufficient 
seriousness. The twelve sailors, of course, were not much, but to 
relinquish such a cardinal point as the telephone exchange 
meant a general delay in the development of fighting action. 
It was only permissible when confronting this particular adversary. 
But one way or another carelessness was manifest. 

But what was happening all this time in Smolny? Smolny 
now had a quite impregnable look. Detachments of sailors, 
soldiers, and armed workers were posted around and inside the 
enormous building. There were quite a few machine-guns in the 
square, besides the cannon. Lorries, on which were crowded 
people with rifles and other weapons, were making a deafening 
racket. Now it was no longer possible to arrest the Military 
Revolutionary Committee, or bring up a detachment of 500 
men to occupy this nest of insurgents. Now Smolny could only be 
besieged and stormed. This would no longer have been a simple 
'measure 3 of a powerful Government, but an act of civil war. 
If the Government had massed enough strength, with artillery 
and the activity and skill cf Government troops, I don't think 
success would have been completely excluded as yet. The 
chances, however, had grown infinitely smaller. The moment 
had been missed. It was probably impossible to collect forces in 
the capital for a siege and storm. 


While the Pre-Parliament was voting on Martov's formula, a 
Soviet session was opening in Smolny. There were very few 
deputies, but the hall was filled with Congress delegates, repre- 
sentatives of regiments, and all sorts of onlookers. The session 
was declared informational only for a report on the events of 
the past night and that day. 

Trotsky presented the report: 

Both the night and the day had been uneasy and full of events. 
During the night negotiations were going on with the Staff 
(already familiar from what has gone before) . Towards morning 
they were broken off. In place of a definitive answer from the 
Staff, information was received that shock-troops had been 
summoned from Tsarskoe and from the junior officers' school 
at Oranienbaum, and artillery from Pavlovsk. The Military 
Revolutionary Committee had taken steps. Agitators had been 
sent out in large groups of thirty to fifty men each. As a result 
the shock-troops and the artillery refused to come out, and the 
junior officers split, a minority coming out. The printing-presses 
of the Bolshevik papers were being protected by reliable detach- 
ments; the papers' publication was assured. The cruiser Aurora 
was in the Neva, near Nicholas Bridge; its crew was loyal to the 
revolution. The Government had ordered the cruiser to leave 
the Neva waters; but the Aurora had not obeyed and was stand- 
ing on guard. In the Pre-Parliament Kerensky had called the 
proletariat and the garrison of the capital a rabble; he de- 
manded co-operation in the decisive struggle against the Soviet. 
The Bolsheviks didn't intend to strike a final blow on the eve of 
the Congress. The Congress itself would do whatever it decided, 
and take power into its own hands. But if the Government 
used the remaining twenty-four hours to enter into an open 
struggle, then the Soviet would give blow for blow and steel 
for iron. 

Trotsky was questioned. For how many days was there bread 
in Petersburg? For three days. Were the rumours true about the 
constant searches? Unauthorized searches and looting would 
not be permitted, but there would be inspections of warehouses 
and other places, with the aim of requisitioning the excess on 
behalf of the people and the army. . . 

Then the informational session was closed. 


There was a united session of the worker-soldier and the 
peasant Central Ex. Corns, scheduled in Smolny at 1 1 o'clock in 
the evening. After hurrying over to the newspaper office again, I 
went to Smolny around 10 o'clock. Both outside and inside this 
armed camp passes were demanded. However, a determined 
look and the statement 'Member of the Central Ex. Com.' was 
enough to get inside. The stairs and corridors were packed with 
an armed mob. In the large hall for some reason the lighting 
was dimmed. But the hall was full, and there was an extra- 
ordinary number of all kinds of arms. 

Making our way through the unknown crowd, new to Smolny, 
Martov and I found two empty seats in the second or third row. 
Hardly any Central Ex. Com. members were visible amongst 
the mass of newcomers, who didn't yield their seats to the 
members of the 'supreme Soviet organ'. In front, at the sides, 
and at the back we saw the greatcoats and grey features of the 
Bolshevik provinces. The mood too was grey. Faces were tired, 
dull, even gloomy. There was no enthusiasm. 

The meeting began around midnight. Gots was sitting alone 
at a table on the large, dimly lit platform. He gave Dan, of 
course, the floor for a report on the 'current moment'. But with 
his own eyes Dan saw he was not in a meeting of the united 
Central Ex. Corns, at all, but amongst the direct participants 
in the insurrection, and it was precisely to them that he 
addressed his speech. His arguments were rather feeble. They 
were more of a plea to refrain from a disastrous coup and not 
obey the Bolsheviks. The audience listened without any special 
objections, but also without any interest. 

'Weak,' I said to Martov. 'He plainly has nothing to say. It's 
impossible to convince anyone with a naked plea.' 

And from the hall there rang out some lazy but angry 
exclamations: 'All right! We've heard all that! We've stood it 
for eight months!' 

Again they spoke up through yawns : 'We've been listening for 
eight months! You and your blood-sucker Kerensky! The 
provocateur '!' 

Dan tried to 'meet them half-way'. He was aware that the 
Soviet peace policy had been dragging somewhat, and he 
promised to go forward by 'another, quicker path'. Then he 
tried to frighten them with hunger, and predicted an im- 


mediate Bolshevik attack, transfer of power to the unruly 
elements of the populace, the triumph of the counter-revolu- 
tion. . . In vain! From the hall there came an indifferent: 'Too 
late! We've heard all that!' 

Trotsky came out against Dan; though really brilliant, he 
failed to arouse much enthusiasm in the tired audience. His 
position, against the background of Dan's attempts to keep up 
with the revolution, was completely tenable. After all, this was 
something basic and elementary which the Bolsheviks had been 
saying for ages, and which was going to realize the power of the 
Soviets the very next day. This power would be genuinely of the 
people. For every worker, peasant, and soldier, this was his 
regime. The Soviets would continuously renew their com- 
position. They could not break with the masses and would 
always be the best exponents of their will. All attempts to 
frighten them with civil war were in vain. 

'There will be none, if you don't falter, since our enemies will 
capitulate immediately and you will take the place that is 
rightfully yours, the place of master of the Russian land. 5 

And while in the dead of night the interstitial groups were 
talking this way, neither enemy camp was asleep. One was 
acting, the other trying to act. At midnight Sverdlov's wire was 
received in Helsingfors: 'Send regulations.' On the instant work 
came to the boil. In some two hours the echelons were made up. 
In place of the 1,500 promised, 1,800 armed sailors with machine- 
guns and ammunition were already on their way to Petersburg. 

But in the Winter Palace around midnight Kerensky was 
receiving a deputation from the Union of Cossack Troops, 
headed by the chairman Grekov. The deputation insisted on a 
struggle against the Bolsheviks and promised its co-operation on 
condition that the struggle was decisive. Kerensky very willingly 
agreed: yes, the struggle had to be decisive. Then a telegram 
was written and sent at once to General Krasnov on the 
northern front: to bring up his cavalry corps to Petersburg at 
once. This was, as we know, the same corps that Kerensky had 
once asked Kornilov for, and which was then declared insur- 
gent. Kerensky was now summoning it again, but Grekov 
signed the telegram as well, just in case. 


However, no Winter Palace signatures at all were valid. 
Without the name of the Soviet, and under the banner of the 
Provisional Government, no troops at all could now be mobilized 
on the front for a march on Petersburg. And in this decisive 
hour Kerensky had to mobilize again the forces loyal to the 
Soviet. I don't know just when or how this took place. But in 
view of the obvious inadequacy of his order to the corps com- 
mander, on the night of the 24th a parallel order was sent from 
Petersburg by the Star Chamber to Voitinsky, the Soviet 
Commissar of the northern front. It was only through the name 
of the Soviet and with the closest participation of an authorita- 
tive Soviet personality that it was possible to organize an attack 
on the revolutionary capital by front-line troops. 

On the night of the 24th Gots talked to Voitinsky over a 
direct line. He demanded the immediate despatch of a reliable 
army against the Bolsheviks. Voitinsky was not sufficiently in- 
formed about the state of affairs in Petersburg, and asked 
whether the order was issued in the name of the Central Ex. 
Com. Gots asked him to wait until he talked to whomever he 
had to (Dan, Avksentiev, Skobelev?). A few minutes later Gots 
said on the direct line that the order was issued in the name of 
the Praesidium of the Central Ex. Com. Voitinsky acted at once. 
But he really had no choice ; very quickly it was narrowed down 
to that same Cossack corps of the loyal Tsarist servant Krasnov. 

Voitinsky himself told me all about this a few years after the 
events. The role of Voitinsky himself is of relatively little interest 
here, but it ought to be known just who did most to attack the 
revolutionary capital and the legal representatives of the 
workers, peasants, and soldiers. This was the Star Chamber, 
acting by means of a forgery of the name of the Soviet, which 
it knew for certain was not behind it. 

That night the Provisional Government left the Winter 
Palace rather early, at around 2. Kerensky may have taken 
a rest, but not for more than an hour. He hurried to the 

There very alarming news had been received. It was decided 
on the spot to send the Cossack troops stationed in the capital 
into action. But would they go? A telephone message was sent 
to the ist, 4th, and I4th Don Cossack Regiments: In the name 
of freedom, honour, and the glory of the fatherland come to the 


aid of the Central Ex. Com., the revolutionary democracy and 
the Provisional Government. 5 

But the Cossacks did not obey. They got up a mass-meeting 
and began bargaining. Would the infantry go with them? It was 
explained at once by authoritative, competent people that in no 
circumstances would the infantry move for the Government or 
the Central Ex. Com. Then the regiments declared that they 
refused to make a living target out of themselves, and would 
therefore * abstain'. 

Nor did the Staff hope for anything special from these regi- 
ments. This is evident from the very text of the order : first, it is 
propaganda, and secondly, the sovereign Government timidly 
hides behind the Central Ex. Com. But in any case these regi- 
ments were the last hope. The cadets and women's shock-troops, 
taken all together, might have served for the defence of a single 
point, but weren't enough to defend the whole city. 

Indeed, were even the privileged, ancien-regime cadets of the 
capital reliable? The Pavlovsky Academy also refused to come 
out; the cadets were afraid of the Grenadier Regiment stationed 
nearby (which was undoubtedly still more afraid of them) . 

Not one unit came from the suburbs. There was a report that 
half the armoured cars had gone over to the side of Smolny; 
the others no one knew. . . The city lay undefended. 



THE decisive operations of the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee started around 2 in the morning. 

Three members of the Military Revolutionary Committee 
were assigned to work out the dispositions : Podvoisky, Antonov, 
and Mekhonoshin. Antonov says it was his plan that was 
accepted. It consisted in occupying first of all those parts of the 
city adjoining the Finland Station: the Vyborg Side, the out- 
skirts of the Petersburg Side, etc. Together with the units 
arrived from Finland it would then be possible to launch an 
offensive against the centre of the capital. But of course that 
was only in an extremity, in case of serious resistance, which was 
considered possible. 

But no resistance was shown. Beginning at 2 in the morn- 
ing the stations, bridges, lighting installations, telegraphs, and 
telegraphic agency were gradually occupied by small forces 
brought from the barracks. The little groups of cadets could not 
resist and didn't think of it. In general the military operations in 
the politically important centres of the city rather resembled a 
changing of the guard. The weaker defence force, of cadets, 
retired ; and a strengthened defence force, of Guards, took its 

From evening on there were rumours of shootings and of 
armed cars racing round the city attacking Government 
pickets. But these were manifestly fancies. In any case the 
decisive operations that had begun were quite bloodless; not 
one casualty was recorded. The city was absolutely calm. Both 
the centre and the suburbs were sunk in a deep sleep, not 
suspecting what was going on in the quiet of the cold autumn 

I don't know how the soldiers behaved. According to all 
reports, with no enthusiasm or spirit. Occasionally they may 
have refused to move. A fighting mood or readiness for sacrifice 
could not be expected from our garrison. But now this had no 
significance. The operations, gradually developing, went so 
smoothly that no great forces were required. Out of the garrison 


of 200,000 scarcely a tenth went into action, probably much 
fewer. Because of the presence of the workers and sailors only 
volunteers could be led out of the barracks. The staff of the 
insurgents was cautiously feeling its way you might say too 
cautiously and feebly. 

It was natural to try above all to paralyse the political and 
military centre of the Government, that is, occupy the Winter 
Palace and the Staff. First and foremost the old authorities and 
their military apparatus had to be liquidated. Otherwise the 
insurrection could by no means be considered consummated; 
and the two powers one 'legitimate', the other merely future 
would have been able to carry on a civil war, with chances 
greatly favouring the former. So it had to be annihilated first of 
all. The telegraphs, bridges, stations, and the rest would take 
care of themselves. 

Nevertheless, throughout the night the insurrectionaries did 
not even try to touch either the Winter Palace, the Staff or 
individual Ministers. The objection may be made that the 
liquidation of the old regime is the conclusion of an insurrection. 
It is very hard and hazardous, for this is the centre of the 
defence. But was this so in the special conditions of our October 
insurrection? Had the ground been adequately felt out by 
Smolny in its cautious movements? Was even the most primitive 
reconnaissance carried out by sending a courier to the Staff 
and to the Winter Palace? No. For the defences of the empty 
Winter Palace in those hours were absolutely fictitious; while 
the General Staff, where the head of the Government was 
located, was not protected at all. As far as can be judged from 
the scanty data, there was not even the usual pair of sentries at 
the entrance. The General Staff, together with Kerensky, could 
have been taken with bare hands. For this few more people 
were needed than the Military Revolutionary Committee itself 

That's how it went on the whole night and the whole morn- 
ing. It was not until 7 o'clock in the morning, when the tele- 
phone exchange was occupied, that the Staff telephones were cut 
off. There you are revenge for the same operation against 
Smolny ! ... In general it was all quite frivolous. But in any case 
let us recall one absolutely credible fact. Kerensky (like all the 
Ministers, who were at home) might have been seized in the 


Staff without the slightest difficulty. This could of course have 
been done before: now I'm thinking of the period after the 
beginning of decisive combat activities. 

In the early morning the troops began to form lines along a 
few streets and canals. But there was no artillery. And the idea 
of this operation was more or less obscure. It would seem there 
must have been some notion of a siege of the Winter Palace and 
the General Staff nearby. But in any case this wasn't accom- 
plished. The ranks, as I saw them personally, looked not so much 
like a fighting as a policing force : they did not besiege, at best 
they surrounded. But they performed even this police task very 
feebly and without the slightest understanding of its rationale. 

At 5 o'clock in the morning Kerensky summoned to the Staff 
Manikovsky, the War Minister, who had to come from the 
Petersburg Side. 

At 9 o'clock he hurriedly summoned all the Ministers. As 
before the Staff was still undefended in any way by anyone. 
Whole strings of military people were going in and coming out 
of the entrance. Who they were and why they had come no 
one knew. No one asked either for passes or for identification 
papers. The people going in might all have been agents of the 
Military Revolutionary Committee, and have declared when- 
ever they liked that the General Staff had passed into Smolny 5 s 
hands. But this didn't happen. 

The head of the Government was in the Staff, but the passers- 
by didn't know where he was and were not interested in him. 
The officer on duty ought to have known, but he was not at his 

Kerensky remained in the study of the Chief of Staff. At the 
doors there were neither sentries, nor adjutants, nor attendants. 
The door could simply have been opened and the Premier taken 
by anyone with the energy. 

Kerensky was walking around in an overcoat. He was calling 
the Ministers together for final instructions. The American 
Embassy had lent him a car, and he was going to Luga, to meet 
the troops coming from the front for the defence of the Pro- 
visional Government. 


Here Is the Smolny estimate of the situation. When all the 
important points of the city were occupied without any resist- 
ance and the ranks, so-called, were placed not very far from the 
Winter Palace and the Staff, the Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee struck the bell. By 10 o'clock in the morning it had 
already written and had sent to be printed this proclamation : 
*To the citizens of Russia: The Provisional Government is 
overthrown. The state power has passed into the hands of the 
organ of the Petersburg Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers 3 
Deputies, the Military Revolutionary Committee, which stands 
at the head of the Petersburg garrison and proletariat. The cause 
the people have been fighting for the immediate proposal of a 
democratic peace, the elimination of private property in land, 
workers' control of production, and the formation of a Soviet 
Government is assured. Long live the revolution of the 
workers, soldiers, and peasants! . . .' 

Roughly the same thing was broadcast by wireless to the 
whole country and the front. There it was also added that 
the c new Government will convoke a Constituent Assembly', 
and that 'the workers were victorious without any blood- 

To my mind all this was premature. The Provisional Govern- 
ment was still not overthrown. It still existed in the form of the 
acknowledged official authority and was organizing defences 
within the capital and the crushing of the rebellion outside. At 
10 o'clock in the morning of the 25th the position, to my mind, 
was no different from what it had been the night or the week 
before. By the use of its de facto influence Smolny had brought 
the troops out of barracks and distributed them at various points 
in the city. The Government, having no de facto authority, could 
not hinder this, either the previous night or the week before. 
But it would be overthrown only when it either was captured 
or ceased calling itself the Government and de facto declined to 
govern. Now, on October 25th, this was more difficult to attain 
than the night or a week before : the head of the Government 
had left for the field army to organize a march on Petersburg, 
while his colleagues were surrounded by defences they'd never 
had before in their lives. . . Hence, it was too early to talk about 
a victory at all, and especially about a bloodless one. 


Soon after 12 o'clock I walked to the Marian Palace along the 
Nevsky and the Moika. The streets were animated, but not 
alarmed, even though everyone was watching the 'demonstra- 
tion that had begun'. But some of the shops were shut and others 
shutting down. The banks, that had hardly opened, were finish- 
ing their operations. Government offices were closed. It may be 
that no alarm was noticeable because the 'demonstration 9 didn't 
look at all terrifying. As before there was neither fighting nor 
shooting anywhere. 

In the middle of the Moika I came up against a line of soldiers 
barring the way. What unit it was I have no idea. There may 
have been machine-guns there too : since the revolution the eye 
had become so accustomed to these terrible objects it no longer 
noticed them. But in any case the soldiers, bored, were standing 
at ease, and for that matter not close together. This column 
was not terrifying, not only to any organized military force but 
to a mob either. Its activity was limited to not letting anyone 

But I showed persistence. The Commander hurried over to me 
one of the new ones, elected and dependable. I had various 
credentials on me, including the blue members' card of the 
Petersburg Ex. Com., signed by Trotsky. But I presented the 
card of the counter-revolutionary Pre-Parliament, saying that 
was where I was going. The Commander thought this con- 
vincing. He not only willingly ordered me to be let pass, but 
offered to give me a soldier as escort : he said there was another 
column to stop me before the Marian Palace. I refused the 
escort, and as far as I recall wasn't stopped any more. But the 
Commander, in letting me go, was not averse to a chat and said : 
'Incomprehensible ! The order was to march. But why no one 
knows. Against one's own people, after all. All rather strange. . .' 
The Commander smiled with embarrassment, and it was 
evident that he was indeed rather baffled by everything. There 
was no doubt about it: there was no spirit; such troops would 
never fight; they would scatter and surrender at the first blank 
shot. But there was no one to do any shooting. 

I went over to the Marian Palace. There was a lorry standing 
at the portico steps, and in the portico itself I found a group of 
some fifteen to twenty sailors and workers. One of them recog- 
nized me. They surrounded me and told me they had just driven 


the Pre-Parliament out. There was no one in the Palace any 
more and they wouldn't let me In. But they wouldn't arrest me. 
No, they didn't want me. Generally speaking they weren't 
touching members of the Central Ex. Com. By the way, did I 
happen to know where the Provisional Government were? 
They had looked for them in the Marian Palace, but hadn't 
found them. They had to arrest the Ministers, they just didn't 
know where they were. But just let Kerensky or anyone show his 
face! The conversation, however, was quite amiable. 

This is what had happened in the Pre-Parliament in my 
absence. Everything went off very simply. By noon very few 
deputies had assembled. They were exchanging news with the 
journalists. This place was occupied, that was occupied. . . 
Suddenly it was revealed that the Marian Palace telephones had 
been cut off. Smolny had taken yesterday night's lesson of the 
Winter Palace to heart. 

But the session didn't begin. Fractions were conferring in 
corners. Then there was a meeting of the expanded Council of 
'Elders'. As always, the fateful question was put: What shall we 
do? But they didn't have time to decide. It was reported that an 
armoured car, some detachments of the Lithuanian and 
Cuxholm Regiments, and the sailors of the Guards crew had 
arrived at the Marian Palace. They were already lining both 
sides of the staircase and had occupied the first hall. Their 
commanders were demanding that the Palace premises be 
cleared immediately. 

The soldiers, however, were in no hurry and didn't seem 
aggressive. The 'Elders' had time for a hasty debate on the new 
situation and the elaboration of a resolution for the plenum. 
Then the 'Elders' came to the conference hall, where there were 
about a hundred deputies. The chairman proposed a motion: 
that (i) The Council of the Republic had not ceased, but merely 
temporarily suspended its activities; (2) The Council of the 
Republic, in the form of its Council of 'Elders', would enter a 
Committee of Safety; (3) The chairman was charged with 
launching an appeal to the nation; (4) The deputies would 
not leave and would assemble at the first opportunity. Then, of 
course, there was voiced a protest against violence; and finally 


it was decided by fifty-six votes to forty-eight with two absten- 
tions to yield to force and go home. 

The soldiers and the commanders were patiently waiting. 
The deputies, having done their duty, began dispersing. 

As we see there was nothing theatrical or dramatic about all 
this; eye-witnesses said so too. You will say that the Thermi- 
dorians showed far more energy and quality on the i8th 
Brumaire. But that was a revolutionary bourgeoisie, as it had 
always openly professed to be. Our bourgeoisie, however, from 
the first day on, was in the camp of the counter-revolution and 
had always carefully concealed this. The Right section of the 
Pre-Parliament voted against the voluntary 'temporary' dissolu- 
tion, but didn't undertake anything further. Those weren't its 
traditions or spirit. But the Left section, for all its moral indigna- 
tion, was politically in a difficult situation. On the one hand it 
was impossible to submit to Smolny's order without protest. On 
the other, it was impossible, with Gen. Alexeyev, to stand shoulder 
to shoulder and face the Bolshevik onslaught without palaver. 

Perhaps the most interesting thing was at the exit, when the 
deputies went down the magnificent staircase between the lines 
of sailors and soldiers. The detachment officers were requesting 
the deputies' cards and examining them with unusual care 
both upstairs and at the actual exits. It was thought there 
would be arrests. The Cadet leaders were already prepared to go 
off to the Peter-Paul. But they were let through with the most 
thorough-going, indeed insulting, indifference. The inexperi- 
enced new rulers were carrying out only the letter of the care- 
lessly given order: arrest the members of the Provisional 
Government. But not one Minister was there. What was to be 
done? For it was, after all, very important to arrest them. 
Releasing Miliukov, Nabokov, and other Kornilovite aces, the 
commanders jumped on the Right Menshevik Dubois; his 
papers read: Assistant Minister of Labour. One caught! But 
then a dispute began. After all, he's a Socialist been in gaol, 
etc. The soldiers insisted: it was highly necessary to catch a 
Minister. But excuse me, after all it was this Dubois who 
arrested Guchkov at the front during the Kornilov days ! They 
couldn't hold out against that, and released this peculiar 
Minister. But where were the others? They were really wanted; 
and nobody knew where they were. 


And indeed, where were they? This was a first-class puzzle for 
the Military Revolutionary Committee. 

From the Marian Palace I headed for Smolny. There were no 
lines of soldiers across the Morskoy. Near the Nevsky, around 
the arch rising above the Palace square, it was said cadets were 
holding out near the Palace and were supposed to be shooting. 
I didn't hear a single shot, but small units were going here and 
there. The streets seemed to be growing more and more lively. 
The rifles might begin to go off of their own accord, but the 
mood was not truculent. The rifles didn't go off. 

I got to Smolny around 3 o'clock. It still looked much the 
same. But there were even more people, and the disorder had 
grown. There were many defenders, but I doubt whether the 
defence could have been firm or organized. 

I went straight along the dirty, sombre corridor into the great 
hall. It was packed, without the slightest sign of order or 
decorum. A meeting was going on. Trotsky was chairman. But 
it was hard to hear from behind the columns, and armed people 
were thrusting back and forth. 

When I came in an unknown, bald, clean-shaven man was 
standing on the platform making a heated speech. But he spoke 
in a strangely familiar, loud, hoarse voice, with a throaty note 
and a very typical stressing of the ends of sentences. . . Eh 
Lenin! He had appeared that day, after a four-month stay 
underground. So this was the final celebration of victory! 

The Petersburg Soviet was once again in session. Opening it, 
before my arrival, Trotsky, in the midst of applause, hubbub, 
and disorder, had said this: 'In the name of the Military 
Revolutionary Committee I declare that the Provisional 
Government has ceased to exist. Individual Ministers are under 
arrest, the others will be arrested in the next few days or hours. 
The revolutionary garrison has dispersed the Pre-Parliament. 
We were told that the insurrection would provoke a pogrom 
and drown the revolution in torrents of blood. So far everything 
has gone off bloodlessly. We don't know of a single casualty. I 
don't know of any examples in history of a revolutionary move- 
ment in which such enormous masses participated and which 
took place so bloodlessly. The Winter Palace has not yet been 


taken, but its fate will be decided in the course of the next few 
minutes. At the present time the Soviet of Soldiers 3 , Workers', 
and Peasants' Deputies faces the historically unprecedented 
experiment of the creation of a regime which will have no other 
interests but the needs of the workers, peasants, and soldiers. 
The State must be an instrument of the masses in the struggle for 
their liberation from all bondage. It is essential to establish 
control of industry. The peasants, workers, and soldiers must 
feel that the national economy is their economy. This is the 
basic principle of the Soviet Government. The introduction of a 
universal labour draft is one of our most immediate tasks.' 

These programmatic perspectives were not at all clear and 
were no more than agitation. But don't they reflect a rather 
bold and swift advance towards Bolshevik Socialism? It was as 
though the nearer he got to power the more this benevolent 
process was taking place in Trotsky's mind. A trivial but 
accurate saying noblesse oblige. . . 

Then Trotsky 'introduced* Lenin to the meeting and gave him 
the floor for a speech on the Soviet regime. Lenin was given a 
tumultuous ovation. . . While he was speaking I moved forward 
and stood with someone I knew behind the columns to the right 
of the entrance. I couldn't hear very well what Lenin was say- 
ing; I think I was more interested in the mood of the crowd. 
In spite of Trotsky's expansive remarks I didn't notice either 
enthusiasm or a festival spirit. People may have become too 
accustomed to dizzying events. They may have been tired. They 
may have been a little confused as to what would come of all 
this, and doubtful that anything would. 

'Well, Comrade Sukhanov?' a low, effeminate voice, with a 
slight lisping accent, came from behind me; c you didn't expect 
the victory to be so quick and easy?' 

I turned around. Behind me stood an unknown man with a 
beard and close-cropped hair, with his hand outstretched. On 
close examination, or rather when I remembered whose agree- 
able contralto this was, I finally recognized Zinoviev. His 
appearance had radically altered. 

'Victory?' I answered. 'Are you celebrating a victory already? 
Wait just a little longer. Just liquidate Kerensky, who has gone 


off to organize an expedition against Petersburg. Besides, in 
general you and I will hardly find ourselves in complete 

Zinoviev said nothing but looked at me a moment in silence, 
then walked away a couple of steps. After all, he had just ex- 
pressed himself, and even tried to carry on a campaign against 
the insurrection, for fear it would be crushed. And suddenly the 
thing was going so smoothly ! On the other hand, he really had 
forgotten about Kerensky and much else, and had been in too 
much of a hurry to congratulate an outsider. Zinoviev's mind 
was undoubtedly in a whirl. 

e No, no, I'm not going to speak now, 5 I heard the contralto 
saying, in reply to a suggestion that he speak, brought from the 

Meanwhile Lenin was saying: 

'The oppressed masses themselves will form a Government. 
The old state apparatus will be destroyed root and branch, and a 
new administrative apparatus will be created in the form of the 
Soviet organizations. Now begins a new era in the history of 
Russia, and this third Russian revolution must finally lead to the 
victory of Socialism. One of our routine tasks is to end the war at 
once. But in order to end this war, closely bound up with the 
present capitalist order, it is clear to everyone that our capi- 
talism itself must be conquered. In this task we shall be helped 
by the worldwide working-class movement which has already 
begun to develop in Italy, Germany, and England. Within 
Russia an enormous section of the peasantry has said : Enough 
playing around with the capitalists; we will go with the workers. 
We shall win the peasants' trust with a single decree which will 
annihilate landed property. We shall institute a genuine 
workers' control of industry. We have the strength of a mass 
organization that will triumph over everything and bring the 
proletariat to the world revolution. In Russia we must set to 
work at once on the construction of a proletarian Socialist State. 
Long live the worldwide Socialist revolution!' 

The programme of the new regime, which the chief was 
addressing to his guard, was not very clear, but it was very 
suspicious. Suspicious because of the transparent disinclination 
to take two circumstances into account. First of all, the current 
tasks of state administration : utterly to destroy all the old state 


apparatus in the desperate conditions of war and famine meant 
to consummate the destruction of the productive forces of the 
country, and not to fulfil the most urgent tasks of peaceful 
construction aimed at the cultural and economic elevation of 
the labouring masses. Secondly, how things stood with the 
general foundations of scientific Socialism: to construct (not 
merely a Soviet) but a 'proletarian Socialist State' in a vast, 
economically-shattered peasant country meant taking on one- 
self tasks known to be Utopian. Now, in the mouth of a Lenin 
whose mind had not yet digested the jumble of Marx and 
Kropotkin, this was not yet clear. But it was extremely 

Then Zinoviev appeared on the platform to give greetings: 
Lunacharsky also congratulated the Soviet. It was decided not 
to debate Lenin's speech. Why cloud the triumph by Menshevik 
speeches? A motion was passed directly: 'The Soviet expresses 
its confidence that a Soviet Government will firmly advance 
towards Socialism, the only salvation of the country. The Soviet 
is convinced that the proletariat of Western Europe will help 
lead the cause of Socialism to total victory.' 

Capital! A long step forward towards Socialism! But mean- 
while Trotsky made this statement : *A telegram has just been 
received that troops are moving on Petersburg from the front. 
Commissars from the Petersburg Soviet must be sent to the front 
and throughout the country at once to tell the broad masses of 
the people what has happened.' 

Voices from the body of the hall: 'You're anticipating the will 
of the Congress!' 

Trotsky: 'The will of the Congress has been anticipated by the 
tremendous fact of the insurrection of the Petersburg workers 
and soldiers, which has taken place tonight. It simply remains 
for us now to develop our victory. 3 

* * * 

It was getting dark when I broke away from the commotion 
in Smolny and went home. I had left my Karpovka place 
around then and moved to the Shpalerny, closer to the office, 
Soviet-Smolny circles, and the Constituent Assembly, for 
which the Tauride Palace was already prepared. I went home to 
eat, anticipating another sleepless night at Smolny. A very 


characteristic fact, this dining by the light of a candle-stub in a 
room not quite ready for habitation. Formerly, amidst similar 
events, this strange idea of leaving the cauldron for even two 
hours to sit down to dinner couldn't have entered my head. 
Now it came into my mind rather easily. It was a question, and 
not for myself alone, of the blunting of perceptions. People were 
very used to every kind of happening. Nothing had any effect. 
But at the same time a feeling of impotence also made itself felt. 
Of course something had to be done ; it was impossible not to 
fight. But it meant so little ! The arena was occupied almost in its 
entirety. The course of events was predetermined by the volcanic 
eruption of the depths of the remote countryside and by the 
monopolists of the moment. 

It was around 8 o'clock when I returned to Smolny. There 
seemed to be even more chaos and disorder. As I went in I met 
old Martynov, of our fraction. 'Well?' 

'The fraction's in session. Of course we shall leave the Con- 
gress. . .' 

'What? How, leave the Congress? Our fraction?' 

I was thunderstruck. Nothing like this had ever entered my 
head. It was thought possible that the Right Mensheviks would 
apply a specifically Bolshevik tactic and subject the Congress to 
a boycott. But for our fraction such a possibility seemed to me 
absolutely excluded. 

First of all, no one contested the legality of the Congress. 
Secondly, it represented the most authentic worker-peasant 
democracy; and it must be said that not a small part of it con- 
sisted of the participants in the first Congress in June, the 
members of the 'Corps of Cadets'. Of that grey mass of delegates 
who had once followed the Menshevik patriots, many had been 
enticed away by Lenin, while most of the Right SRs were 
becoming Left SRs, if not Bolsheviks. Thirdly, the question was: 
Where would the Right Mensheviks and the SRs leave the 
Congress for? Where would they go from the Soviet? 

The Soviet, after all, was the revolution itself. Without the 
Soviet it never existed, nor could it. It was in the Soviet, the 
combat instrument of the revolution, that the revolutionary 
masses were always organized and rallied. So where could one 


go from the Soviet? It meant a formal break with the masses and 
with the revolution. 

And why? Because the Congress had proclaimed a Soviet 
regime in which the minute Menshevik-SR minority would not 
be given a place ! I myself considered this fatal for the revolu- 
tion, but why link this with abandoning the supreme representa- 
tive organ of the workers, soldiers, and peasants? The 'Coali- 
tion', after all, was no less odious to the Bolsheviks than a 
'Soviet regime 5 was to the old Soviet bloc; the Bolsheviks, not 
long ago, under the dictatorship of the Star Chamber, them- 
selves constituted the same impotent minority as the Mensheviks 
and SRs now, but they did not and could not draw the con- 
clusion that they had to leave the Soviet. 

The old bloc could not swallow its defeat and the Bolshevik 
dictatorship. With the bourgeoisie and with the Kornilovites 
yes; but with the workers and peasants whom they had thrown 
into the arms of Lenin with their own hands impossible. 

The sole argument heard from the Rightists was this: the 
Bolshevik adventure would be liquidated from one day to the 
next; the 'Soviet Government 5 would not hold out more than a 
few days, and at such a time the Bolsheviks had to be isolated 
in the eyes of the entire country; they had to be smitten now by 
every possible means and driven into a corner with whips and 

I too was convinced that the power of a Bolshevik regime 
would be ephemeral. A majority of them themselves were at 
that time convinced of the same thing. I also thought it useful 
and necessary to isolate their position and oppose to it the idea of a 
united democratic front. But for this why was it necessary to get 
out? That was the least of it: how was it possible to achieve this 
by getting out of the Soviet, away from the organized masses, 
away from the revolution? It could be achieved only in the 
arena of Soviet struggle. 

But the point was that it was not the united democratic front 
that was opposed to the Bolshevik position. The Mensheviks and 
SRs at least their leaders today just as yesterday kept on 
opposing the same Coalition to the Soviet regime. This of course 
considerably changed matters. If yesterday it was blindness, 
today it was practically definite Kornilovism. It was the pro- 
gramme of a bourgeois dictatorship on the ruins of the Bolshevik 


regime. That was now the only way the Coalition could be restored. 
If that was so, then of course it was not a question of the 
Soviets, the revolution, or the masses. . . If that was so, then the 
arguments in favour of getting out of the Congress had their 
rationale and did not seem so senseless. 

However, only a few Right Soviet elements, after all, former 
adherents of the Coalition, could reason this way. But what con- 
nexion could all this have with our fraction? Avksentiev and 
Gots would leave the Soviet for wherever the bourgeoisie was. 
Would even leave for that luckless Committee of Safety, which 
was supposed to take on itself the liquidation of the Bolshevik 
enterprise 'without the bourgeoisie, by the forces of the demo- 
cracy alone'. Let us admit that out of traditional solidarity Dan 
would follow Avksentiev out of the Soviet. But where would 
Martov go? Where would we go partisans of the dictatorship of 
the democracy -, opponents of the Coalition, close allies of the 
proletariat and its fighting organization? We had nowhere to 
go; torn out of Soviet soil we should perish like a snail torn from 
its shell. 

I didn't formulate all this after my encounter with Martynov, 
in the midst of the fuss and hubbub of Smolny. But it had long 
been firmly fixed in my mind. Martynov's communication 
absolutely stunned me. I rushed off to look for the fraction, and 
Martov especially. The fraction was not then in session, and 
Martov wasn't around, but I was told that many of us wanted to 
get out, and Martov, even though not very resolutely, was also 
inclined to follow the example of Dan and Avksentiev. A bad 
business ! 

My indignation was shared by many not only the Left 
section of the Pre-Parliament fraction, but also the provincials. 
The fraction had not yet come to a final decision. The session 
had been a joint one with the Rightists. As for us, no one yet 
knew which side the majority would be on. The fraction had to 
be assembled. 

I and some others who shared my views called together the 
fraction of the Menshevik-Internationalists. It assembled in a 
big unfamiliar room. Rather a large number of people crowded 
around a rough table with simple rude benches. There were 


probably more than a few of the official Mensheviks, of the 
Novqya hizn people too, and of the Left SRs who were trying to 
maintain contact with us. I think Martov arrived towards the 
end. On the question of getting out he wavered and twisted. 
But some of his closest lieutenants were definitely for getting out. 
If I'm not mistaken, Abramovich 1 made a heated speech for 
leaving. But we on the Left fought hard and didn't yield. 

It was learned that the Menshevik Central Committee had 
resolved that Responsibility for any completely military over- 
turn be lifted from the party, that it take no part in the Congress, 
and that it take steps to negotiate with the Provisional Govern- 
ment on the formation of a regime based on the will of the 
democracy'. Besides this, the Menshevik Central Committee had 
resolved to form a commission of the Mensheviks and SRs for 
joint work on questions of common security 5 . The Right SRs 
had also, of course, decided to leave the Congress. 

This news had various effects on the members of our con- 
ference. Some recoiled Rightwards from motives of solidarity 
and discipline. Others, on the contrary, clearly saw in all this 
the bankruptcy of the Rightists and their complete rupture with 
the revolution; any possibility of solidarity with these elements 
was excluded for them, and this reinforced their Left position. 
In general there was no definite decision taken on getting out. 
Martov deflected matters somewhat by proposing this solution : 
the fraction would demand from the Congress an agreement to 
create a democratic regime from representatives of all the 
parties In the Soviet; until the results of the requisite party 
negotiations were clear the Congress would suspend its func- 
tions. A majority of the votes settled on this. The question of 
getting out was postponed : it was to be decided in due course, 
depending on events. 

The delegates nervously hurried through the rooms and corri- 
dors, gathering in clusters, getting in the way, and packing the 
buffet. Rifles, bayonets, and Caucasian fur-caps could be 
glimpsed everywhere. The exhausted guard were dozing on the 
stairs; soldiers, sailors, Red Guards, were sitting on the floor of 
the corridor close to the walls. It was stifling, filthy. . . The Con- 
gress opened in a far from triumphal setting; it opened under 

1 Abramovich, Raphael (1879- ) : prominent Bundist and Right Menshevik. 
Emigrated after October Revolution, eventually to New York City. (Ed.) 




fire and seemed immersed in the most urgent and primitive 

# # # 

It was not until 1 1 o'clock that bells began to ring for the 
meeting. The hall was already full, still with the same grey mob 
from the heart of the country. An enormous difference leaped to 
the eye: the Petersburg Soviet, that is, its Workers' Section in 
particular, which consisted of average Petersburg proletarians, 
in comparison with the masses of the Second Congress looked 
like the Roman Senate that the ancient Carthaginians 1 took for 
an assembly of gods. With masses like that, with the vanguard of 
the Petersburg proletariat, I think it really was possible to be 
enticed into an attempt to illuminate old Europe with the light 
of the Socialist revolution. But in Russia this incomparable type 
is an exception. The Moscow worker is as different from the 
Petersburg proletarian as a hen from a peacock. But even he, as 
familiar to me as the Petersburger, is not altogether benighted 
and homespun. Here at the Congress, however, the hall was filled 
with a crowd of a completely different order. Out of the 
trenches and obscure holes and corners had crept utterly crude 
and ignorant people whose devotion to the revolution was spite 
and despair, while their 'Socialism' was hunger and an un- 
endurable longing for rest. Not bad material for experiments, 
but those experiments would be risky. 

The assembly hall was filled with these morose, indifferent 
faces and grey greatcoats. I pushed my way forward through the 
dense crowd standing in the aisle to where a place should have 
been kept for me. It was either darkish again in the hall or else 
the clouds of tobacco smoke obscured the bright light of the 
chandelier between the white columns. On the platform, unlike 
the emptiness of the night before, there were far more people 
than elementary orderliness permitted. I looked about for 
Lenin, but I don't think he was on the platform. I had got to my 
seat in one of the front rows when Dan came on to the platform 
to open the Congress in the name of the Central Ex. Com. 

Throughout the revolution I don't recall a more disorderly 
and muddled session. In opening it Dan said he would abstain 
from any political speech: he asked people to understand this 

1 Sic. Sukhanov means Gauls. (Ed.) 


and remember that at this moment his party comrades were self- 
sacrificingly doing their duty under fire in the Winter Palace. 

Avanesov, sent by the Bolsheviks, had a list of the Praesidium 
ready. But the Menshevik and SR representatives refused to 
participate in it. In the name of our fraction someone made a 
statement that we were 'abstaining for the time being' from 
participating in the Praesidium, until a number of questions had 
been cleared up. The Praesidium was composed of the principal 
Bolshevik leaders and the half-dozen Left SRs. They could 
scarcely find seats, the platform was so packed and disorderly. 
Kamenev was in the chair throughout the Congress. He an- 
nounced the agenda: (i) the organization of a Government, 
(2) war and peace, and (3) the Constituent Assembly. 

Martov asked for the floor on a point of order: 

First of all, a pacific settlement of the crisis must be assured. 
There was blood flowing in the streets of Petersburg. Military 
activities on both sides must be halted. A pacific settlement of 
the crisis might be attained by the creation of a regime which 
would be recognized by the entire democracy. The Congress 
could not remain indifferent to the civil war now developing, 
which might lead to a menacing flare-up of the counter- 

Martov's speech was greeted with tempestuous applause from 
a very large section of the meeting. It was manifest that a very 
great many Bolsheviks, not having assimilated the spirit of the 
teaching of Lenin and Trotsky, would have been happy to take 
precisely this path. But now Lenin and Trotsky were completely 
at one. Of course we recall the difference between them at the 
First Soviet Congress and much later, but now, in October, 
Trotsky, lapsing into his 1905 ideas, flew irresistibly into Lenin's 
open arms and merged with him completely. 1 The Bolshevik 
mass, however, still insufficiently understood the majestic ideas 
of its leaders and quite amicably applauded Martov. 

Martov's motion was upheld by the Novaya %fiuyi people, by a 
front-line group, and most important by the Left SRs. 
Lunacharsky answered for the Bolsheviks : the Bolsheviks had 
absolutely nothing against it; let the question of a peaceable 
settlement of the crisis be made the first item on the agenda. 
Martov's motion was voted on: against it nobody. 

1 See Introduction. (Ed.) 


Here there was no risk whatever for the Bolsheviks. At the 
Congress, just as in the capital, they were the masters of the 
situation. But nevertheless things were taking a quite favourable 
turn. Lenin and Trotsky, meeting their own following half-way, 
were simultaneously cutting the ground away from under the 
feet of the Rightists: to leave the Congress when the majority 
had agreed to a joint debate of the basic questions, which had 
been considered already predetermined, was not only a blatant 
rupture with the Soviet and with the revolution for the sake of 
the same old, decrepit, bankrupt counter-revolutionary ideas; 
it was simply the senseless stubbornness of counter-revolu- 
tionaries. If the Mensheviks and SRs left now., they would 
simply write finis to themselves and infinitely strengthen their 
opponents. One would have thought the Right wouldn't do this 
immediately, and that the Congress, though with a wavering 
majority, would be set on the right road to the formation of a 
united democratic front. 

But the Mensheviks and SRs did do it. These blind counter- 
revolutionaries not only failed to see that their 'line' was 
counter-revolutionary, but also failed to realize the complete 
absurdity and unworthy childishness of their behaviour. . . After 
Martov's resolution was passed, but before the debate was 
begun, Khinchuk, a pedant and future Bolshevik functionary, 
spoke for the Menshevik fraction : 

The only solution was to start negotiations with the Provi- 
sional Government for the formation of a new Government that 
would be based on all strata. (A terrible din filled the hall; it 
was not only the Bolsheviks who were indignant, and for a long 
time the speaker wasn't allowed to continue.) c The military 
conspiracy has been organized behind the back of the Congress. 
We divest ourselves of all responsibility for what is happening 
and leave the Congress, inviting the other fractions to meet to 
discuss the present situation.' 

This brilliant speech immediately turned the mood against 
the Compromisers. The Bolshevik mass pressed tightly around 
Lenin. Indignation was expressed very stormily. You could hear 
shouts of 'Deserters ! Go over to Kornilov! Lackeys of the bour- 
geoisie! Enemies of the people!' 

In the midst of the hubbub the SR Geldeman appeared on the 
platform, and in the name of his fraction, repeated the same 


statement. The temper of the hall rose still higher. Stamping, 
whistling, and cursing began. 

Ehrlich was on the platform: in the name of the [Jewish] 
Bund he supported the SRs and Mensheviks. The hall began to 
overflow. The c pure-in-heart' were going out in small groups, 
but this was almost unnoticed. They were accompanied by 
whistles, jeers, and curses. Even the semblance of order finally 
disappeared. On the platform, where Martov remained because 
it was impossible to get away or move, the mob, which soon so 
completely surrounded the orator that you could not see who 
was speaking, was leaning over the shoulders of the members of 
the Praesidium. 

The c pure-in-heart' had left. Well would Martov's resolu- 
tion now be debated without them? Now it had lost most of its 
sense, but it seemed there was no time for that now. 'Emergency 
statements' hailed down, on behalf of every kind of organization 
and of individual speakers themselves. The notorious Right 
Menshevik Kuchin, always accepted as speaking for the front, 
was also accusing the Bolsheviks of a military conspiracy against 
the people, and with his Tront-line group' was also leaving the 
Congress. As usual, he was unmasked: he had been elected to 
the Army Committee eight months before and for half a year 
had no longer expressed the army's opinion. The front was 
going along with the Congress majority. In addition to the front- 
line Menshevik, a front-line SR also spoke. But by now the 
meeting was beginning to lose patience. 

Abramovich came on Tor the Bund group'. First, he re- 
peated what Ehrlich had said. Secondly, he reported that firing 
on the Winter Palace had begun; the Mensheviks, SRs, peasant 
Central Ex. Com., and Town Council had decided to go there 
and face the bullets. 

This was very effective and dramatic, but completely failed to 
arouse any sympathy. Jeers could be distinguished amidst the 
tumult, some of them coarse, others venomous. . . Up to then, 
nevertheless, shooting had not been an everyday occurrence in 
our revolution, and Abramovich's news made a painful im- 
pression on a great many people. 

It was dissipated, however, by Ryazanov, who declared in the 


name of the Military Revolutionary Committee : c An hour and a 
half ago the Mayor came to us and offered to undertake 
negotiations between the Winter Palace and its besiegers. The 
Military Revolutionary Committee has sent its representatives, 
thus doing everything to forestall bloodshed.' 

Ryazanov was known to everyone as a man averse to blood- 
shed, and he was believed. But when would Martov's resolution 
be debated? 

It was begun by Martov himself when he got the floor amidst 
an endless series of emergency statements. 

'The news that's just come ' he began. 

But the meeting, which an hour before had passed his resolu- 
tion unanimously, was now very irritated with every species of 
'compromiser'. Martov was interrupted: 'What news? What are 
you trying to scare us for? You ought to be ashamed of your- 
self! 3 

In some detail Martov analysed the motives for his resolution. 
Then he proposed that the Congress pass a decree on the 
necessity for a peaceable settlement of the crisis by forming a 
general democratic Government and electing a delegation to 
negotiate with all Socialist parties. . . 

Martov's reply came from Trotsky, who was standing at his 
side in the crowd that packed the platform. Now that the 
Rightists had left, Trotsky's position was as strong as Martov's 
was weak. 

'A rising of the masses of the people', Trotsky rapped out, 
'needs no justification. What has happened is an insurrection, 
and not a conspiracy. We hardened the revolutionary energy of 
the Petersburg workers and soldiers. We openly forged the will 
of the masses for an insurrection, and not a conspiracy. The 
masses of the people followed our banner and our insurrection 
was victorious. And now we are told: renounce your victory, 
make concessions, compromise. With whom? I ask: with whom 
ought we to compromise? With those wretched groups who have 
left us or who are making this proposal? But after all we've had 
a full view of them. No one in Russia is with them any longer. 
A compromise is supposed to be made, as between two equal 
sides, by the millions of workers and peasants represented in this 
Congress, whom they are ready, not for the first time or the last, 
to barter away as the bourgeoisie sees fit. No, here no compromise 


is possible. To those who have left and to those who tell us to do 
this we must say: you are miserable bankrupts, your role is 
played out; go where you ought to be: into the dustbin of 

'Then we'll leave/ Martov shouted from the platform amidst 
stormy applause for Trotsky. 

No, excuse me, Comrade Martov ! Trotsky's speech of course 
was a clear and unambiguous reply. But rage at an opponent, 
and Martov's emotional state, still did not bind the fraction to a 
decisive and fatal act. Martov, enraged and upset, began push- 
ing his way off the platform. And I called an emergency con- 
ference of our fraction, scattered throughout the hall. 

Meanwhile Trotsky was reading aloud a harsh resolution 
against the Compromisers and against their 'wretched and 
criminal attempt to smash the All-Russian Congress'; 'this will 
not weaken, but strengthen the Soviets, by purging them of any 
admixture of counter-revolution'. 

We assembled in the Mensheviks' room, while the futile 
emergency statements continued in the big hall. Fatigue, ner- 
vousness, and chaos kept growing. On our way out we heard a 
statement in the name of the Bolshevik fraction of the Town 
Council: 'The Bolshevik Town Hall fraction has come here to 
conquer or die with the Ail-Russian Soviet Congress!' 

The hall applauded. But it was beginning to be fed up with 
all this it was around i o'clock in the morning. 

During those same hours when the fractions and the plenum 
of the Congress .were in session at Smolny, the old Provisional 
Government still languished in a quiet, half-dark room of the 
Winter Palace. For their part they were far from willing to die. 
On the contrary, they were hoping for assistance and the 
preservation of their lives and jobs. Nevertheless they were 
languishing in torment. 

The Cossacks had left the Palace. There were fewer defenders. 
It was reported on the 'phone that some Town Councillors and 
others, about 300 men, were coming to the Palace. The military 
cadets were warned not to shoot at them. 

Palchinsky made a report: the mob had pressed forward a 
few times, but after some shots from the military cadets had 


retreated. The shots, he said, were in the air. But the clatter of 
arms and booming of cannon grew more and more frequent. 
Suddenly there was an uproar and shots in the Palace itself: 
about thirty or forty armed men had burst in, but were already 
disarmed and under arrest. 

'Great cowards/ reported Palchinsky, and assured his 
listeners the Palace would hold out till morning. 

Again a din, shouts, tramping, and two explosions one after 
the other. The Ministers leaped from their seats. Bombs ! A few 
sailors had crept into the Palace and thrown two bombs from a 
little gallery. The bombs had fallen on the floor near the en- 
trance to Nicholas IPs rooms and slightly wounded two 
military cadets. Dr. Kishkin gave them medical aid. The sailors 
were arrested; but how had they been able to get in? First forty 
men had burst in by force, then a few sailors had slipped in 
secretly. It was obvious that things were proving a bit too much 
for Palchinsky and his garrison. 

It was reported that the women's shock-battalion had gone 
home. They had felt like it and left, like the Cossacks. It was 
clear that the besiegers were letting hostile detachments through 
like water through a sieve. 

There was still no real siege at all, but the cross-fire was 
beginning to take on the character of an out-and-out battle. It 
was unlikely that they were only shooting in the air, or that 
there were no casualties. A certain amount of blood was un- 
doubtedly being shed. Why, and what for? Because the Military 
Revolutionary Committee had not thought of arresting the 
Government before, and had even released those arrested, and 
the Ministers who had run away from their posts could still 
console themselves with the thought that they had not run 

It was reported that cadets from some academy had left. 
They left as they pleased. The 'Government 5 didn't hold them 
back, but gave out telephonic bulletins to the city: 'We are 
beating them off, we are not surrendering, the attack was 
beaten off at such and such an hour, we are waiting for re- 
inforcements'. That's the kind of Government we had! 

Once again a crowd burst in and was disarmed : once again 
one of the defence units went off. How many were left now? 
Which was there more of now in the Palace, defenders or 


prisoners? But wasn't it all the same? The Ministers were un- 
concerned. Outside the walls they were shooting as before; it 
was after i o'clock. 

Again an uproar. It kept growing, nearer and nearer, up to 
the very doors.. It was clear the Palace was being stormed and 
taken. A cadet rushed in to the Ministers and, drawing himself 
up, reported : 'Ready to defend ourselves to the last man. What 
are the Provisional Government's orders?' 

'It's no use. We give up. No bloodshed! We suppose the 
Palace Is already occupied?' 

'Yes. Everyone's surrendered. Only this room is being held.' 

Tell them we don't want bloodshed and give up. We yield to 
force. . .' 

'Go, hurry, hurry! We don't want bloodshed!' 

You'll say: now the Ministers were beginning to understand 
something and had come to a sensible decision. On the con- 
trary: it was already too late for a sensible decision; but the 
Ministers, having finally lost all understanding, did not see how 
repellent and ridiculous their hypocrisy was. 

A cadet on the other side of the door reported the Ministers' 
decision to the victorious insurgent troops, who were making an 
impatient racket but didn't take one step further against the will 
of these single-minded cadets. The noise suddenly took on 
another character. 

'Let's sit down at the table,' said the Ministers, and sat down, 
in order to look like busy statesmen. 

The doors were flung open, and the room filled up at once 
with armed men, headed by Antonov himself. . Palchinsky 
adroitly hastened forward: 'Gentlemen, we've just come to an 
agreement with your people on the 'phone. Just wait one 
moment, you haven't heard the latest! 5 

The chiefs of the detachment were within a hair's breadth 
of being disconcerted, but they pulled themselves together at 

'Members of the Provisional Government!' shouted Antonov, 
'I declare you under arrest! I'm a member of the Military 
Revolutionary Committee!' 

'The members of the Provisional Government yield to force 
and surrender in order to avoid bloodshed,' said Konovalov. 

'Bloodshed ! And how much blood have you shed yourselves?' 


rang out an exclamation sympathetically taken up by the crowd. 
'How many of our people have fallen?' 

'That's a lie!' shouted the indignant Kishkin. *We didn't 
shoot anyone! Our guards simply shot back when they were 


* * * 

If there were any casualties, then our miserable last Ministers 
were to blame just as much as the organizers of the insurrection. 
Smolny was to blame for not avoiding bloodshed, in spite of its 
having been completely possible, but it was justified by a theory 
that it could not in the nature of things renounce. But what 
could the statesmen of the last Coalition have said in justifica- 
tion of their criminal senselessness? They preferred not to 
acknowledge the very fact of the bloodshed they had caused. 
But this merely makes them either cowards or fools. Louis XVI, 
on August loth, set up a strong Swiss guard in the Tuileries, 
ordered them to defend themselves, and caused bloodshed. He 
was well aware that he was defending the monarchy and his 
own throne an idea, interests, and a person. His crime has a 
definite meaning, historical and logical. But as for these sage 
rulers and liberal-humanitarian intellectuals of ours what did 
they want? 

The temper of the mob that had burst in, armed to the teeth, 
was extremely high, vengeful, furious, and impetuous. Antonov 
tried to calm the particularly hot-headed soldiers and sailors, 
but lacked sufficient authority. They set about drawing up an 
official report, while the Ministers began to 'agitate' at the victors. 
Kuzma Gvozdev was especially excited, trying to persuade 
everyone right and left that he was one of them a worker. 
Tempers would rise, then subside. The report that Kerensky 
was not around had a powerful effect. There were shouts that 
the others must be slaughtered so that they wouldn't flee after 

After rather lengthy proceedings, with interrogations, roll- 
calls, and the making of lists, the column of prisoners moved out, 
in the direction of the Peter-Paul Fortress. In the darkness, be- 
tween 2 and 3 o'clock in the morning, in the midst of a dense, 
excited mob, the column moved along the Milliony and over 
Trinity Bridge. More than once the lives of the former Ministers 
hung by a hair. But it went off without a lynching. 


After eight months of revolution the Peter-Paul was receiving 
within its walls a third variety of prisoner: first. Tsarist func- 
tionaries, then Bolsheviks, and now Kerensky's friends, the 'elite' 
of the Menshevik-SR democracy. What more were these im- 
perturbable walls destined to see? 

In the great hall of Smolny the enormous meeting was clearly 
becoming disorganized from muddle, crowding, fatigue, and 
tension. Speakers from the fractions remaining spoke on 
Trotsky's resolution. Both the Left SRs and the Novaya %hizn 
people categorically condemned the behaviour of the Right 
groups, but protested against the harsh resolution. Then 
'emergency' speakers appeared again. But the meeting cried for 
mercy. An interval was announced. 

During this time our fraction, extremely tense and nervous, 
was discussing the situation. Having settled ourselves in any sort 
of order just inside the door, about thirty of us, some standing 
up, others sitting on some kind of garden benches, were quarrel- 
ling bitterly. I was vigorously attacking, very excited, and not 
mincing my words. Martov, having yielded to theatricality at 
the plenary session, defended himself more calmly and 
patiently. He seemed to feel that he had no firm ground beneath 
him, but at the same time to be aware that the whole conjunc- 
tion of circumstances irrevocably compelled him to break with 
the Congress and go out after Dan even though only half- 
way. . . 

I gave a good account of myself and did as much as I could. 
Throughout the revolution I had never defended my position 
with such conviction and ardour. Not only logic, political sense, 
and elementary revolutionary truth seemed to be on my side, 
but also a technical consideration: after all, the question put by 
Martov had not yet been debated in the Congress, and we 
still had only Trotsky's speech as the Congress reply. Leaving 
the Congress now would not only be criminal in general, but also 
dishonest and frivolous in particular. 

Alas ! It was clear that Martov was a victim of Menshevik 
indecisiveness. He was indeed! For the rupture with the 
bourgeois Compromisers and adherence to Smolny entailed the 
most decisive struggle in a definite camp. No place was left for 


neutrality or passivity. This was frightening, and far from 
natural to us. Martov, like Dan, but not together with him, was 
'isolating' the Bolsheviks. In this Dan had a point of support 
Martov could not accept, while Martov had no point of support 
at all. But ... to remain in'Smolny with nobody but the 
Bolsheviks no, that was beyond our strength. 

The fraction divided. About fourteen votes against twelve 
Martov had won. I felt that I had suffered a disaster worse than 
any before in the revolution. I returned to the great hall com- 
pletely numb. 

* * * 

There the interval was just over and the meeting had started 
again. But the deputies had had no rest. There was still the 
same disorder. People were standing with outstretched necks 
listening to the statement of the Chairman, Kamenev, who was 
speaking with special earnestness: 'We have just received the 
following telephone message. The Winter Palace has been taken 
by the troops of the Military Revolutionary Committee. The 
whole Provisional Government was arrested there, except 
Kerensky, who has fled. . .' etc. 

Kamenev read the list of the arrested Ministers. When he 
mentioned Tereshchenko's name at the end, stormy applause 
rang out. The broad masses had evidently had time to set a 
special value on this gentleman's activities. 

One of the Left SRs made a statement about the inadmissi- 
bility of arresting the Socialist Ministers. 

Trotsky answered him at once: First of all, there was no time 
now for such trifles : secondly, there was no reason to stand on 
ceremony with these gentlemen who were keeping hundreds of 
workers and Bolsheviks in the prisons. 

Both statements were essentially correct. But what was far 
more important was the political motive Trotsky didn't touch 
on : the overturn had not yet been carried to a conclusion, and 
every Minister left at large, representing the legitimate power, 
might in the given circumstances become a source of civil 
war. Nevertheless Trotsky's statement that is, mainly his tone 
was far from producing, even in Smolny as it was then, a good 
impression on everyone. This new ruler, on the very first day, 
was showing his teeth over 'trifles'. An omen for the future. 


So the thing was done. We had left, not knowing where or 
why, after breaking with the Soviet, getting ourselves mixed up 
with counter-revolutionary elements, discrediting and debasing 
ourselves in the eyes of the masses, and ruining the entire future 
of our organization and our principles. And that was the least of 
it: in leaving we completely untied the Bolsheviks' hands, 
making them masters of the entire situation and yielding to 
them the whole arena of the revolution. 

A struggle at the Congress for a united democratic front might 
have had some success. For the Bolsheviks as such, for Lenin and 
Trotsky, it was more odious than the possible Committees of 
Public Safety or another Kornilov march on Petersburg. The 
exit of the *pure-in-heart' freed the Bolsheviks from this danger. 
By quitting the Congress and leaving the Bolsheviks with only 
the Left SR youngsters and the feeble little Novaya %hizn, group, 
we gave the Bolsheviks with our own hands a monopoly of the 
Soviet, of the masses, and. of the revolution. By our own irra- 
tional decision we ensured the victory of Lenin's whole 'line 5 . 

I personally committed not a few blunders and errors in the 
revolution. But I consider my greatest and most indelible 
crime the fact that I failed to break with the Martov group 
Immediately after our fraction voted to leave, and didn't stay 
on at the Congress. To this day I have not ceased regretting 
this October 25th crime of mine. 

Towards the end of the session Lunacharsky read out a 
proclamation of the Congress to the workers, soldiers, and 
peasants. It declared: '. . . Basing itself on the will of the 
enormous majority of workers, soldiers, and peasants, and 
relying on the achievement in Petersburg of a victorious rising 
of the workers and garrison, the Congress takes the power into 
its own hands. The Provisional Government has been over- 
thrown. The powers of the conciliationist Central Ex. Com. have 
come to an end. . . The Congress decrees that all power through- 
out the country be transferred to the local Soviets of Workers', 
Soldiers', and Peasants' Deputies, who must preserve genuine 
revolutionary order.' 


Thus the October revolution was politically consummated and 
shaped. The 'proclamation' was passed by all the other votes to 
two, with twelve abstentions. The meeting lasted until after 
5 o'clock in the morning. 

In a dense throng, delegates swarmed out of Smolny, after the 
labours, impressions, and events of this world-historical day. 
The participants in, witnesses and authors of those events 
swarmed past the cannon and machine-guns standing by the 
cradle of the 'worldwide Socialist revolution'. But no atten- 
dants were visible near them. The Smolny guard were already 
enjoying their rest: there was no discipline. But there was also no 
need for a guard. No one had either the strength or the will for 
an attack. . . 

A cold autumn morning was already dawning on Petersburg. 




Two or three hours later the capital awoke without realizing 
who were now its rulers. From outside, the events had not been 
at all impressive. Except for the Palace square, there had been 
order and calm everywhere. The coup had begun rather modestly 
and ended rather swiftly. But how? the man-in-the-street 
didn't know. The finale in the Winter Palace had come too late 
at night, and contact with Smolny was weak. 

The man-in-the-street rushed to the newspapers. But he 
couldn't get much light from them. In the 'Latest News' column 
there were everywhere a few lines reporting the seizure of the 
Winter Palace and the arrest of the Provisional Government. 
The accounts of the Soviet Congress consisted solely of 'emer- 
gency statements' and testified to the 'isolation* of the Bolshe- 
viks; but they gave no description whatever of the political 
status that had been created. The leading articles had been 
written before the final news that night. In general, they were 
all on one note : patriotic bowlings about our unhappy country, 
accusations of usurpation and violence by the Bolsheviks, pre- 
dictions of the collapse of their adventure, descriptions of the 
coup of the day before as a military conspiracy. 

The Mensheviks and SRs, by the way, later consoled them- 
selves with this military conspiracy for several months, thrusting 
it in the faces of the Bolsheviks. Incomprehensible ! It would 
have been better if these sharp-witted people had looked and 
said: was the Petersburg proletariat in sympathy or not with 
the organizers of the October insurrection? Was it with the 
Bolsheviks, or were the Bolsheviks acting independently of it? 
Was it on the side of the overturn, was it neutral, or was it 

Here there can be no two replies. Yes, the Bolsheviks acted 
with the full backing of the Petersburg workers and soldiers. 
And they brought about an insurrection, throwing into it as 
many (very few!) forces as were required for its successful con- 


summation. Guilty as charged: the Bolsheviks threw into it, 
through negligence and clumsiness, far more forces than were 
necessary. But that has nothing at all to do with grasping the 
actual conception of the insurrection. 

So on October 2 6th the man-in-the-street was given into the 
power of rumours. And of course he was extremely excited. In 
the streets, in the trams, in public places nothing but the 
events was talked of. There was, naturally, a panic at the 
Stock Exchange, though absolutely no one believed a Bolshevik 
regime would last. On the contrary, the man-in-the-street had 
no doubt the crisis would be settled in short order. 

Indeed, what sort of power had the Bolsheviks? They had, 
after all, not yet created a Government. What kind of 'power of 
the Soviets' was this? All the same, the shops shut tight. The 
banks did not resume work. In the government offices there were 
mass-meetings of the employees, and debates about what they 
should do in case the Bolsheviks sent over their commanders. 
Almost everywhere it was decided not to recognize their 
authority, and for the time being stop work. A boycott! 

But even without a boycott and without politics nobody 
could work now. Was everything quiet at home? It was said 
that plundering and riots would begin at any moment. It was 
said that there was no bread at all in the city, and what there 
had been had already been looted. It was said that sailors were 
making the rounds of the houses and requisitioning fur coats 
and boots. It was said. . . 

But there were also facts which powerfully affected the 
imagination. On the day following the victorious insurrection 
the Petersburgers found several of the capital's newspapers 
missing. They had been closed by the Military Revolutionary 
Committee for slandering the Soviets and similar crimes. The 
esteemed Podvoisky, Antonov, and others, acting on Lenin's 
orders, were not inventive: they borrowed their reasons from 
the lexicon of the old Tsarist police. But on the strength of their 
position as revolutionaries and Socialists they allowed them- 
selves the luxury of expressing themselves more crudely and less 
grammatically. It would have been possible, and better, to give 
no reasons at all. 


Moreover, Podvoisky and Antonov were generally very ham- 
fisted in carrying out their leaders' directives. For some reason 
they came down on the second-rate papers and small fry, dis- 
regarding the Kornilovite leading semi-official ones. This had to 
be corrected. That morning some sailors were sent to the 
distributing centres of Rech and Sovremennoye Slovo (Contem- 
porary Word) . All the numbers they found were confiscated, 
taken out into the street in an enormous mass, and set fire to 
then and there. This hitherto unseen auto-da-fe collected an 
enormous crowd. 

In the course of that day the whole bourgeois press of the 
capital was shut down. Orders were sent out, and military 
patrols with them. The type-setters were allowed to stay on in 
the printing-presses, on condition that they set no type for the 
closed-down newspapers. 

The new Government didn't reveal itself for the time being in 
any other way. But this debut made a very powerful impression. 
Tsarism had never practised any such mass reprisals against the 
press. Was it necessary? What was the sense of it? References 
were naturally made to the acute and difficult situation of the 
new regime in the fire of civil war. But that was nonsense. 
There was neither civil war nor any particularly difficult 
situation. Now, in a single day, the insurrection was already 
actually victorious. Difficulties might begin if Kerensky had 
some successes at the front, but there was still no news of those. 
Until now reports on this score had been completely reassuring. 
Indeed, even if there had been a march on Petersburg, the 
bourgeois press couldn't have played any role. The Socialist 
press was, if you like, more dangerous, but that wasn't touched. 

The destruction of the bourgeois press, completely senseless 
from a practical point of view, was extremely harmful to the 
Bolsheviks. It infuriated and alarmed absolutely all the neutral 
and wavering elements, of which there were many. So this was 
the start of the new regime! For the time being there was 
nothing more, but there were already pogroms and senseless 
violence. The debasement of revolutionary values, the trampling 
into the mud of elementary democratic principles were already 

In the lower strata of the proletariat and soldiery, however, 
this debut aroused no protests. For there, after eight months of 


revolution, these principles had not yet had time to take root. 
There the matter was substantially simpler without principles : 
they used to beat us and we, having seized a club, are going to 
smash things right and left. That was how the elements 
reasoned. That was how without principles their champions 
in Smolny reasoned too. 

Meanwhile work went on at Smolny. The Military Revolu- 
tionary Committee was taking what steps it could to preserve 
order and uphold the prestige of the new regime. But it was 
even busier getting out proclamations. First of all it addressed 
the Cossacks in the capital and at the front, exhorting them not 
to oppose the revolution and not to march on Petersburg. This 
appeal, distributed in great quantities, undoubtedly had its 
effect on the strongly prejudiced but far from bellicose Cossacks. 
Then the Military Revolutionary Committee appealed to the 
railwaymen to pay special attention to the service; it called on 
the state employees, and especially the military staff employees, 
not to interrupt their work, for fear of revolutionary justice, etc. 

But naturally their principal concern was defence against 
Kerensky, who was marching on Petersburg. Nothing trust- 
worthy was known about this march, but, to begin with, the fact 
a priori was obvious. Secondly, quite definite rumours flowed from 
the Right milieux about it; points were named where Kerensky 
was to be found, with the number of troops at his disposal. 
Petty-bourgeois and 'social' strata comforted themselves with 
this and frightened Smolny. The Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee took what steps it could. 

Besides written and oral agitation, splendidly organized 
along the roads to the capital, a few detachments were sent out 
against Kerensky's supposed hordes. But their strength was very 
meagre. No volunteers who were at all reliable were found in 
the garrison. Out of the army of 200,000, two or three companies 
were somehow selected. The workers' militia aroused more 
confidence, but only, after all, from the point of view of their 
morale. For the combat fitness of this army, which had never 
smelt powder or seen a rifle until the last few days, and had no 
conception of military operations or discipline, was more than 
dubious. To crown all this there were no officers at all. 


It was only the sailors that might prove a serious force, 
Kronstadt could put out 3,000 or 4,000 reliable fighters. And 
besides, as we know, 1,800 sailors had come from Helsingfors; 
they had got to Petersburg when everything was already over, 
but they could be used at once against Kerensky. 

This, as we see, wasn't much. And this 'army' also suffered 
from an exceptional defect: it had no artillery only rifles and 
machine-guns. Close to Petersburg itself it was proposed to use 
the artillery of the ships anchored in the Neva or off the coast. 
But it was essential, of course, not to allow matters to get as far 
as an engagement beneath the very walls of the capital. 

How unsatisfactory the position was with artillery, and how 
crude the steps taken, is evident from this fact. The Putilov 
Factory 'promised' the Military Revolutionary Committee an 
armoured platform-car for mounting cannon, but no one knew 
whether the factory would keep its promise. And this matter, in 
spite of its triviality, was thought so important in Smolny that 
Lenin himself, together with Antonov, in the midst of the 
extravagant labours and chaos of the first days, went off to the 
Putilov Factory to harangue the workers and spur them on. I 
don't think it led to anything. . . 

In general it was quite impossible to count on any substantial 
military force. What had to be relied on was Kerensky's weak- 
ness, his inability to collect and move a large army, and the 
inevitable dissolution of such an army while still en route. 
Agitation and the influence of ideas were an incomparably 
more reliable prop of Smolny than military operations. After 
all the lessons of the revolution it was possible to set one's hopes 
on 'spiritual' factors with complete justification. Nicholas II, 
after all, had moved against Petersburg, and then Kornilov, and 
both had failed without a shot fired. During the October 
Days themselves factors of 'morale' were already paralysing the 
whole activity of Kerensky and the Staff in Petersburg. Why 
then not hope that these same methods would liquidate the 
third march on Petersburg in 1917? 

An extremely graphic proclamation on Kerensky's per- 
sonality, role, and campaign was also published and distributed. 
In any case, in the midst of the primordial confusion of this first 
day of the Soviet regime all possible measures were taken, as I 
said, of spiritual as well as of military resistance. 


Apart from all this, the Military Revolutionary Committee 
developed some activity of a purely police character. A great 
many arrests had been made in the city. They were quite casual 
and pointless, carried out chiefly as a result of the revolutionary 
initiative of anyone who had the energy. Whole columns of 
prisoners trailed into Smolny from all directions. This irritated 
and repelled the passive part of the population very much. But 
Smolny had become not only the seat of the new Government, 
not only the General Staff, but also the supreme police institu- 
tion, the supreme tribunal, and the gaol. 

Finally, that day the Military Revolutionary Committee got 
out one other special proclamation an order to the Army 
Committees to bring General Kornilov and his accomplices to 
Petersburg for imprisonment in the Peter-Paul Fortress and for 
trial. . . 

- Just what did that mean? Why an appeal to the Army 
Committees, and not a wire to Bykhov gaol to transfer the 

Because on the 2 6th a perfectly reliable piece of news had 
been spread through Petersburg Kornilov had escaped from 
Bykhov gaol. 

Kornilov, having heard about the overturn, had quite 
simply decided to leave. He had not been afraid of a Govern- 
ment of his friends, and had agreed to live for the time being in 
Bykhov under the protection of his reliable Tekins. But with the 
Bolsheviks the affair might have turned risky; also it had no 
point. Kornilov decided to leave. There had been no technical 
hindrances for him previously either. 

Just about this time I had asked Kamenev in passing: Tell 
me, how are you going to govern? Are you going to set up 
ministers and ministries, as in a bourgeois society?* 

Kamenev explained what was evidently being ventilated in 
the highest Bolshevik spheres : 

'It'll be a Government by Boards, like during the Convention. 
The chairmen of the Boards will constitute the supreme organ 
of Government.' 

And that is how it was formed on October' 26th. But what 
could this Soviet Cabinet of Ministers be called? Though this of 


course was not very vital, nevertheless there was a strong desire 
not to borrow bourgeois terminology. Let everything be quite 
new and special in the new proletarian State! 

They thought and cogitated, and finally Trotsky suggested a 
name that gratified everyone. It was decided to call the Soviet 
Cabinet the Council of People's Commissars. Personally I am 
not very enthusiastic about this great reform. Breaking with 
bourgeois terminology may have been very agreeable, but 
philologically the word Minister sounds absolutely correct, 
while Commissar, on the contrary, definitely smacks of the 
police. But this, of course, is a matter of taste (and, perhaps, of 
the new spirit in politics?). 

But apart from the name itself, nothing had as yet been 
changed in the methods of forming a new Government. For the 
time being the Boards were not and could not be formed. Only 
the Council of People's Commissars had been constituted, and 
that had been made up just as cabinets always are. 

This is how matters stood politically: The departure of the 
Mensheviks and SRs had very much simplified and eased the 
position of Lenin and Trotsky. Now there was no Opposition to 
get underfoot in forming a proletarian Government. Only the 
Bolshevik Party could now take power without hindrance and 
even place all the odium for this on the Mensheviks and SRs 
themselves. This was what Lenin had been striving for ever since 

To be sure, there remained at the Congress a rather large 
group of Left SRs, who had no objection to being the sole repre- 
sentatives of the peasantry. But, to begin with, the Left SRs 
were in an insignificant minority. Secondly, these Left young- 
sters were quite harmless as pretenders to power, in view of their 
lack of anything resembling solidity and of the fact that they 
could easily be twisted around one's finger. Thirdly, in view of 
these qualities, bringing the Left SRs into the Soviet Govern- 
ment would even have been useful, for this would have looked 
like a perfectly popular 'agreement' within the Soviet and a 
'broadening of the base' of the new Government at the expense 
of the party of the revolutionary peasantry. Fourthly, the Left 
SRs made absolutely no claim to share power with the Bol- 
sheviks: what they stood for was power for the Soviet bloc, an 
all-democratic Government. 


Consequently the Bolsheviks took power alone. The Council 
of People's Commissars was expected to act on the directives of 
the Bolshevik Party Central Committee. This achieved what 
Lenin had been unsuccessfully striving for *in a favourable 
conjunction of circumstances' on June loth and July 4th. 

It remained to plan the composition of the first Soviet 
Government. One would have thought that the Bolsheviks must 
meet with the greatest difficulties. Where could you get people 
capable of running the State in the given circumstances? I of 
course wasn't at this meeting of Bolshevik leaders, but I venture 
to express my conviction that it had no special difficulty in 
selecting Ministers from its own party people. It produced its 
best and oldest propagandists, agitators, and organizers. For the 
difficulties of state administration did not appear in their full 
scope to the eye of the lofty assemblage. 

Lenin was designated Premier without portfolio. Trotsky 
became the People's Commissar for Foreign Affairs; Luna- 
charsky for Popular Education. The economist and writer 
Skvortsov was given Finance. Shlyapnikov, the trade-unionist, 
whom we know, got the Labour portfolio. Miliutin, author of a 
brochure on agricultural workers, was appointed Minister of 
Agriculture, Stalin Minister for Nationalities. A Board con- 
sisting of Antonov, the lieutenant Krylenko, and the sailor 
Dybenko for Military and Naval affairs. Rykov, whom we 
haven't met up to now, was given the Interior. Nogin from 
Moscow was given Industry and Commerce. Lomov, Justice. 
Teodorovich, Supply. And Glebov, Posts and Telegraphs. 

All these were very respected Bolsheviks, with decades of 
revolutionary work, exile, and imprisonment behind them. But 
as the supreme power in the Republic, as statesmen entrusted 
with the fate of the revolution and of the country, this Board as a 
whole must be acknowledged to be rather unconvincing. We 
knew most of these new rulers as revolutionaries. Henceforth we 
were to be acquainted with them as statesmen and learn, by the 
way, that brilliant work on the platform, underground, and in 
the emigration, in party circles and as journalists, far from 
guaranteed their quality as rulers. 

We fail to see two stars of the first magnitude amongst the 
Bolshevik rulers the 'cronies', Zinoviev and Kamenev. Their 
absence from the Government might have had a great many 


valid reasons. First of all, being somewhat in opposition, they 
might have declined. Secondly, for tactical reasons it was 
advisable to cut down as much as possible on the number of 
Ministers of Jewish origin (the sole exception was Trotsky). 
Thirdly, we must remember that from now on ministerial posts 
were in fact not the most important in the State: stars of the 
first magnitude made all high policy in the Party Central Com- 
mittee. Fourthly, Kamenev was appointed chairman of the 
Central Ex. Com., which formally was the highest State body, 
while Zinoviev received a high appointment as editor of the 
official state newspaper: the Izoestiya of the Central Ex. Com. 

Such for the time being was the new Government of the new" 
proletarian State. 

Martov appeared at this meeting of the Bolshevik Olympus. 
He came to intercede for the release of the Socialist Ministers. 
It must be imagined how absurd such a mediator must have felt 
before these strange new authorities on such a matter. 

Martov, their old comrade-in-arms and, for most of them, 
teacher, was heard out with chilly reserve. But all the same the 
Socialist Ministers were transferred to house arrest. 

The second session of the Congress opened at 9 o'clock in the 
evening. Chairman Kamenev, amidst stormy applause, an- 
nounced the latest measures of the Military Revolutionary 
Committee: abolition of the death penalty at the front, and con- 
sequently in Russia generally; release of all political prisoners; 
release of the members of the agrarian committees arrested by 
the Coalition. 

Then Lenin was given the floor to report on war and peace. 
But according to him the question was so clear that he could 
read without any preamble the draft of an appeal by the Soviet 
Government to the peoples of all the countries at war. He read a 
long document, which I shall summarize : 

The worker-peasant Government, created by the revolution 
of October 25th, suggests to all warring nations and their 
Governments that immediate negotiations be begun for a just 
and democratic peace, without annexations or indemnities. 
The Russian Government, for its part, is ready to take all 
decisive steps without the slightest delay. By annexations it 


means the absorption by a large or powerful State of a small or 
weak nationality (?) without its consent; the time of annexa- 
tion, the cultural-economic level of the absorbed country and its 
location are a matter of indifference. Disannexation, in the 
absence of complete self-determination, is the equivalent of 
annexation. But the Government doesn't put forward these 
conditions as an ultimatum; it is willing to consider other con- 
ditions as well, insisting only that they be proposed as soon as 
possible and put clearly, openly, and unequivocally. The 
worker-peasant Government abolishes secret diplomacy; it is 
proceeding at once to the publication of secret treaties and 
declares their contents henceforth invalid. The Russian Govern- 
ment is willing to carry on open negotiations for peace in any 
way desired: in writing, by telegraph, or at a conference. At 
the same time the Government proposes to all countries at war 
the immediate conclusion of a three-month armistice which will 
be sufficient to conclude peace negotiations and ratify the peace. 
In addressing the above to the Governments and peoples of the 
warring countries, the worker peasant Government appeals 
especially to the workers of the advanced capitalist countries, 
Great Britain, Germany, and France; the victorious Russian 
workers and peasants have no doubt that the proletariat of the 
West will help them to achieve the cause of peace, and at the 
same time the cause of the emancipation of the toilers from 
every form of bondage and exploitation. 

He closed with a brief epilogue. 'We address ourselves', he 
said, c to the Governments and to the peoples, since an appeal to 
the peoples alone might involve a postponement of the peace. 
The conditions of peace as reviewed during the armistice will 
then be confirmed by the Constituent Assembly. The proposal 
of peace will meet with opposition from the imperialist Govern- 
ments we do not close our eyes to this. But we rely on the 
imminence of revolution *in all the countries at war. The 
Russian Revolution of October 25th will open an era of Socialist 
revolution throughout the world. We shall of course defend our 
peace programme in every way, but we must make it im- 
possible for our enemies to say that their conditions are different 
and therefore there is no reason to start negotiations with us. 
We must deprive them of this advantage and therefore must not 
put our conditions as an ultimatum. We are not afraid of a 


revolutionary war, but we shall not deliver ultimatums which 
might facilitate a negative answer to our proposal.' 

In general, the proclamation of October 2 6th was exactly 
what the revolutionary Government should have done several 
months earlier. The Bolsheviks, almost before they were in 
power, had fulfilled this task and met their engagements of 
March I4th to the proletariat of the West. And they had done it 
in a correct and worthy form. But it was too late. Several 
months of revolution had multiplied many times over Russia's 
collapse and exhaustion. Now, at the end of October, there was 
no longer even an army in Russia. Now we could no longer fight. 
Those millions who had until now held back 130 German divi- 
sions at the front had begun, from cold and hunger, to run away 
home. Our peace move of October 2 6th was objectively no 
more than a surrender to the mercy of the victor. 

I got to Smolny during Lenin's 'epilogue'. The general scene 
was much the same as the night before. Fewer arms, a smaller 
crowd. It was easy for me to find an empty seat in the back 
rows, which I think were for the public. Alas ! For the first time 
in the revolution I came to such a meeting not as one of its fully 
authorized members, but as one of the public. I found this 
extremely sad and painful. I felt torn away and separated from 
everything I had been living by for eight months that were the 
equivalent of a decade. Such a situation was quite unendurable; 
I knew I should change it, but didn't know just how. 

Lenin finished. Thunderous applause rang out, and didn't die 
down for a long time. The representatives of the Left SRs and 
the Novqya %hi&t people 'backed' the decree. They merely com- 
plained that up to then the text of this document of capital 
importance hadn't been known to any of those present, and 
they couldn't make any amendments. They wanted a lot! 
These requirements of bourgeois parliamentarianism hadn't 
been complied with by us even in the best of circumstances. 

In general, you might say there were no debates. Everyone 
simply expressed 'support 5 , while the home-spun representatives 
of the nationalities gave greetings. The Teace Decree' was put to 
the vote without any amendments and passed unanimously. 
And now there were signs of an unmistakable heightening of 
mood. Long-drawn-out ovations alternated with singing the 
Internationale. Then Lenin was hailed again, hurrahs were 


shouted, caps flung into the air. They sang a funeral march in 
memory of the martyrs of the war. Then they applauded again, 
shouted, flung up their caps. 

The whole Praesidium, headed by Lenin, was standing up and 
singing, with excited, exalted faces and blazing eyes. But the 
delegates were more interesting: they were completely re- 
vivified. The overturn had gone more smoothly than most of 
them had expected; it already seemed consummated. Aware- 
ness of its success was spreading; the masses were permeated by 
the faith that all would go well in future too. They were begin- 
ning to be persuaded of the imminence of peace, land, and 
bread, and even beginning to feel some readiness to stand up 
positively for their newly acquired goods and rights. 

Applause, hurrahs, caps flung up in the air. . . 

But I didn't believe in the victory, the success, the 'rightful- 
ness', or the historic mission of a Bolshevik regime. Sitting in the 
back seats, I watched this celebration with a heavy heart. How 
I longed to join in, and merge with this mass and its leaders in a 
single feeling! But I couldn't. . . 

Lenin again reported on the next question land. But once 
again he didn't make a report, but began directly reading the 
text of a proposed 'Land Decree'. This time the decree, not 
having been reproduced or circulated, was not only unfamiliar 
to everyone : it was so badly written that Lenin stumbled, got 
confused, and finally stopped altogether. One of the crowd who 
had squeezed on to the platform came to his rescue. Lenin 
gladly gave up his place and the illegible piece of paper. 

This was what it contained : 

Private property in land was abolished immediately without 
compensation. Estates, whether private, monastic, or eccle- 
siastical, with all livestock and buildings, were placed at the 
disposal of rural district agrarian committees and of district 
Soviets of Peasant Deputies pending the Constituent Assembly. 
Damage to confiscated property would be considered a serious 
crime. The peasant 'model decree' written by the editors of the 
'Peasant Central Ex. Com. News' 1 on the basis of 242 local 

1 In August. (Ed.) 


peasant decrees was to serve as guide in the detailed execution 
of these measures. 

This peasant c model decree' had been written by SRs, and 
was nothing but an exposition of the SR agrarian programme, 
Its basic propositions amounted to the following: 

All property in land, not excluding small peasants', was 
abolished in Russia in perpetuity, and all land within the 
borders of the State was to become the property of the entire 

The right to the use of land belonged to all citizens of the 
State provided they worked it themselves. Hired labour was 
forbidden. The land was to be divided between those working it 
according to a labour or consumer's norm. The land reserves 
were subject to periodic reallocation, depending on the growth 
of the population and changes in agricultural methods, leaving 
the basic unit untouched. 

Then, in conflict with the first point of Lenin's decree itself, 
the 'model decree' read: the land of ordinary Cossacks and 
peasants would not be confiscated. Finally, it was twice re- 
peated that the land question could be definitively settled only 
by the Constituent Assembly. 

Personally I had been a partisan of the SR agrarian pro- 
gramme from the very beginning of my political and literary 
activity. These views of mine were considered a sign of mental 
confusion, and my SR-mindedness provoked irony and per- 
plexity amongst my fellow- thinkers, the 'consistent Marxists'. 
However, to this day I persist in them, and maintain that it was 
precisely in this form that a Socialist agrarian programme in 
Russia was possible and rational. 

This programme laid the foundations of a petty-bourgeois 
order in the countryside, but in Russia this could not be other- 
wise, while on the other hand the programme preserves the 
maximum of Socialist elements possible in so far as it abolishes 
private property in land. It gives the proletariat a trump card 
in its struggle against the reactionary class of petty landlords, 
and at the same time conforms to the laws of agrarian evolution. 
Finally, it ensures the conditions for the development of the 
countryside's productive forces, for (according to Marx) 
Socialist forms of agricultural production can be realized only 
by a revolution in the means of production. 


However, in order to perceive the rational foundations of the 
SR agrarian programme, it must be freed of all the Utopian and 
reactionary admixtures, which give it a quite absurd and rather 
illiterate look. The 'model decree' is full of such admixtures. It 
attempts to change economic relations by a decree. This is vicious 

Private property in land can be eliminated. Everyone knows 
this from bourgeois practice. But it cannot be abolished by a 
decree. Every literate person ought to know that too. Hence it is 
impossible to say that as of a given moment leasehold (between 
peasants who are neighbours) is prohibited. It is impossible to 
assert that 'hired labour is prohibited'. This is a futile attack 
on the fixed principles of economics, which may change 
organically but cannot be subject to the State's decrees. In 
addition, it undermines the productive forces of the country- 

A propos, the first thing I ever published happened to be an 
exposure of these Utopian SR ideas abolishing leasehold and 
hired labour by edict. And now Lenin, at the head of his 'Marxist 5 
party, had resurrected and was putting into force this ante- 
diluvian piece of SR-ism. But for Lenin in 1917 this was only the 
flower, the modest beginning; the fruits would come only after 
the 'Communist Party' began destroying the foundations of 
capitalist trade by decree, after it began creating a Socialist 
society by police power, abolitions, prohibitions, and all kinds of 

At that time, in October, there was still the press. And the 
berating Lenin heard from the SRs for this daylight robbery! 
The SRs cried : A fine Marxist, who for fifteen years baited us 
from the heights of his grandeur for our petty-bourgeois lack of 
science, and then executed our programme the moment he took 
power! And Lenin snapped back: A fine party, that had to be 
driven out of power for its programme to be realized! 

None of this had much point; it was rather like two fishwives 
in the market-place cheap, but very agreeable, all the more so 
since both sides were right. 

Now on October 26th, Lenin gave a very interesting com- 
mentary also in an 'epilogue' on the 'Land Decree' : 

'Voices can be heard here saying that the decree was drawn 
up by the SRs. Very well. Isn't it all the same who composed it? 


As a democratic Government we could not get round a decision 
of the rank-and-file, even if we disagreed with it. Life is the best 
teacher, and it will show who is right. Let the peasants starting 
from one end and ourselves from the other settle this question. 
Life will force us to come together in the common stream of 
revolutionary creativity. We must follow life, and leave the 
masses of the people complete freedom of creation. . . We 
believe the peasantry will be able to settle this question better 
than ourselves. The point is not whether it's in our spirit or in 
the spirit of the SRs. The point is for the peasantry to be firmly 
persuaded that there are no more landlords in the country, and 
to let the peasants settle all the problems and organize their own 

The 'masses of the people', listening to the head of the 
'democratic Government', were in raptures. It took a long 
time for another ovation to die down. But Lenin's words 
were really interesting and important. Anyone who wants to 
understand the spirit of the Soviet regime's policy during 
the first period of its activity is in duty bound to remember 

An interval was announced. I dropped into the buffet from 
the crowded corridor. There was a crush around the counter. 
In a secluded corner I ran into Kamenev, hastily gulping down 
some tea: 

'Well, so you're getting ready to govern us alone?' 

'But surely you're with us?' 

'Depends how, within what limits and ideas. Just now, in a 
Left SR fraction, I was trying as hard as I could to stop your 
setting up a dictatorship of your party alone.' 

Kamenev lost his temper: 'Well, if that's the case, what's the 
use of talking to you ? You think it right to go around other 
fractions agitating against us . . .' 

'And you think that indecent and inadmissible?' I inter- 
rupted. 'So I can't use my right to talk to any audience I like? 
For after all if it's impossible in Smolny, then it's impossible at a 
factory too. . / 

Kamenev calmed down at once and started talking about the 
brilliant progress of the coup d'etat: it was said that Kerensky had 


managed to collect only an insignificant and not at all dangerous 

*So you've definitely decided to govern alone?' I said, return- 
ing to the former theme. *I think that's absolutely scandalous. 
I'm afraid that when you've made a mess of it it'll be too late to 
go back. . .' 

'Yes, yes', muttered Kamenev irresolutely and vaguely, 
looking away. 

' Although . . . why should we make a mess of it?' he con- 
tinued, just as irresolutely. 

Kamenev was not only a now humiliated opponent of the up- 
rising, but was also against a purely Bolshevik regime, and for an 
agreement with the Mensheviks and SRs. But he was afraid of 
being humiliated again. There were quite a few like him. . . 

The session reopened. 

Without amendment or discussion the Land Decree was 
passed. Again the massed crowd applauded, jumped to their 
feet, and threw their caps into the air. They firmly believed that 
they had got the land their fathers and grandfathers had 
yearned for. Spirits were mounting higher and higher. The 
masses who had hesitated to 'come out' were perhaps ready now 
to take up arms and defend their new conquests. For the time 
being this was only in Smolny. But tomorrow the genuine 
masses in the capital, at the front, and in the heart of Russia, 
would learn about it. 

There was only one question left that of the Government. 
Trotsky spoke in defence of a purely Bolshevik regime. He was 
very clear, trenchant, and largely correct. But he refused to 
understand the point of his opponents' demands for a united 
democratic front. 

He said: Isolation was a vain threat. It wasn't terrifying. It 
had been used as a bugbear even before the uprising, but that 
had ended in a brilliant victory. It was not the Bolsheviks 
who were isolated, for they were with the masses. Those who 
were isolated were those who had left the masses. A coalition 
with the Dans and Liebers would not have strengthened the 
revolution, but destroyed it. Difficulties and tasks beyond their 
powers? But Trotsky didn't understand how an alliance with 


Lieber and Dan would help the cause of peace and produce 
bread. . . 

The Bolsheviks, however, could not be accused of irreconcil- 
ability. 'In spite of the fact that the defensists stopped at nothing 
in the struggle against us, we did not cast them off. We pro- 
posed to the Congress as a whole that it should take power into 
its own hands. How, after that, is it possible to speak of our 
irreconcilability? When the party, enveloped in powder smoke, 
went to them and said, Let's take the power together, they ran 
to the Town Council and joined up with obvious counter- 
revolutionaries. They are traitors to the revolution, with whom 
we shall never ally ourselves. . .' 

Here Trotsky, while justly characterizing his enemies, ex- 
plained his own position in a form that had nothing in common 
with reality. The Bolsheviks had never taken a single step to- 
wards an agreement with the Dans and the Liebers. They had 
always rejected it. They had carried on a policy that excluded 
an agreement, and attempted to take power alone. This was 
quite understandable. Trotsky and the others, after all, couldn't 
understand why they needed Lieber and Dan, if they had the 

Trotsky was always clear and skilful. But you couldn't be 
seduced by his eloquence: you had to see clearly where he left 
loose ends, and maintain a critical attitude towards his diplo- 
macy before the masses. He concluded with some characteristic 
remarks I shall note without comment. 

'Don't try to frighten us by talk about a peace at our expense. 
It's all one if Europe remains a powerful capitalist society 
revolutionary Russia must inevitably be crushed. Either the 
Russian Revolution will lead to a movement in Europe, or else 
the surviving powerful countries of the West will crush us.' 

Such was the outlook of this central figure of the October 

A rather characteristic episode took place when the repre- 
sentative of the All-Russian Railwaymen's Union spoke. A 
group of railwaymen had joined the Novaya %hizn people at the 
Congress and were for an agreement between the Soviet parties. 
A worker spoke in their name, very excitedly. He began by 
saying that the railway proletariat had always been 'one of the 
most revolutionary proletariats', but that didn't mean it was 


going to back the Bolsheviks' risky ventures. The Railwaymen's 
Union demanded an agreement and was ready to back this 
demand with decisive action including a general railway 

c And just take note of this, comrades. Without us you couldn't 
have coped either with Kornilov or with Kerensky. I know 
you've just sent some detachments of saboteurs to tear up the 
lines leading to the capital. But without us, you know, you 
couldn't even do that. We could fix all the damage in twenty 
minutes. We tell you we're not going to help you, but will fight 
you if you don't come to an agreement.' 

This speech made a great sensation, like a bucket of cold 
water poured over the head of the meeting. But the Praesidium 
had ready their own railwayman, who was unleashed at once 
with the statement that the preceding speaker hadn't repre- 
sented the views of the masses. But that wasn't so, while as for 
the claim by the Railway Union's spokesman that the Congress 
was incompetent, that wasn't true either: even after the exodus 
of the 'pure-in-heart' the Congress had a full legal quorum. 

The 'Council of People's Commissars' was put to the vote and 
confirmed by an overwhelming majority. I don't recall any 
great enthusiasm about this. But the Congress was now be- 
coming thoroughly disorganized, from extreme exhaustion and 
nervous tension. 

The concluding act was the election of a new Central Ex. 
Com. Amidst total disorder, in a rapidly emptying hall, a long 
list of unknown names was read out. About 100 men in all were 
elected, of whom seventy were Bolsheviks, then some Left SRs, 
Novaya %hizn people, and representatives of nationalities. 

The meeting closed around 5 o'clock in the morning. Limp 
and exhausted, in a hurry to get home, the depleted ranks again 
filled Smolny with the discordant sounds of the Internationale, 
and scrambled for the way out. The Congress was over. 

I waited for Lunacharsky, who was to stay with me overnight 
in the new flat close by. Picking up another delegate we set off 
together towards the Tauride Garden. It was still quite dark. 
Lunacharsky was extremely excited, almost in raptures, and 
rattled along without a stop. Unfortunately I couldn't respond 
and was a silent, and even rather glum listener. 

'At first Lenin didn't want to go into the Government; he said 


he was going to work in the Party Central Committee. But we 
said no, we wouldn't agree. We made him take first-hand 
responsibility; otherwise, everyone likes just criticizing. What? 
Supplies? They're all quite safe.' 

'Ah! 3 Lunacharsky went on, referring to me, s he won't work 
with us! He just won't! But what a Foreign Minister he would 
make! Come to us! After all, there's no other solution for an 
honest revolutionary. We're going to work! These events are 
epoch-making! Our children's children will bow their heads 
before their grandeur!' 

We arrived home. My exhausted mind was incapable of 
digesting the inexhaustible material of the past days. 

The Second Soviet Congress was the shortest in our history. 
The local delegates had to hurry home, and the centre had no 
time for meetings. Toils, troubles and difficulties were making 
their appearance every hour in ever-increasing numbers, like 
the heads of the Hydra. Most important was the front, where 
Kerensky was scraping together mixed detachments to crush the 
'rebellion 3 . Until he had been liquidated it was impossible to 
have an easy mind. Indeed, the revolution could not be con- 
sidered complete until the head of the old Government had 
been reduced to submission and taken prisoner. After all, until 
this had been achieved, the country could formally choose 
which it would consider the lawful Government and which the 

On the evening of October syth, information was given at the 
first session of the new Central Ex. Com. that columns of Cossack 
troops with artillery were concentrated round Dno Junction 
and in Gatchina. Emissaries and agitators had been sent there, 
but the Cossacks had declared that they would march on 
Petersburg to smash the Bolsheviks. Then the railway men told 
how they had received a telegram which said Kerensky was in 
Gatchina with troops and heavy artillery. 

During the whole of the s8th very disquieting news of 
Kerensky's offensive continued to be received. The Military 
Revolutionary Committee's bulletins read: 'Tsarskoe-Selo is 


under artillery fire. The garrison has decided to retreat towards 
Petersburg. 3 'There is fighting in Krasnoe Selo; two of our 
regiments fought heroically but retreated under the pressure of 
superior forces.' 'Tsarskoe has been taken by Kerensky's troops 
and we are retreating to Kolpino.' 

Smolny took feverish action. On the 2 8th from morning till 
night troops, mostly Red Army men, were being moved to 
the front. A few armoured cars and Red Cross vehicles also 
passed through the streets leading to the Baltic and Warsaw 
Stations. Masses of workers were sent outside the town to dig 
trenches. Petersburg was festooned with barbed-wire entangle- 

In the evening the new Central Ex. Com. met again, and 
again it was only the news that was interesting. According to 
Smolny the revolution had taken place painlessly in a whole 
series of towns : Minsk, Kharkov, Samara, Kazan, Ufa, Yaro- 
slavl, and also Mogilev, the Army Headquarters. 

On the 30th it was decided to finish with Kerensky at one 
blow. The Kronstadt and Helsingfors sailors' detachments were 
moved en bloc to the front. Trotsky himself went too; from now 
on he was invariably to be present at the most critical points all 
over the country. . . And by the end of that night Trotsky was 
already reporting to Petersburg from Pulkov: The night of the 
3Oth will go down in history. Kerensky's attempt to move 
counter-revolutionary troops against the capital has received a 
decisive setback. KERENSKY IS IN RETREAT we are 
advancing. The soldiers, sailors, and workers of Petersburg have 
shown that arms in hand they can and will assert their will and 
the power of the democracy. . .' 

Kerensky and his counter-revolutionary troops had been 
broken. If now, after four days of advance and gathering of 
troops he had been rolled back, he had evidently shot his bolt. 
It remained only to finish him. . . And the new Government 
would be the sole lawful Government in Russia. 

The liquidation of Kerensky consummated the October 
Revolution. Moscow was still an arena of bitter struggle, and the 
enemies of the Bolsheviks were still far from laying down their 
arms. Now, however, there was in Smolny a unified and 


indivisible Government of the Republic, and its armed enemies 
had become rebels and nothing more. 

The revolution that had placed a proletarian party at the 
head of a first-class world Power was accomplished. A new 
chapter had opened in the working-class movement of the world 
and in the history of the Russian State. 

June-August 1921. 


Abramovich, R., 634, 638 

Admiralty: Tsarist Ministers barricade 

themselves in, 66, 67, 75; deserted by 

troops, 88 
Adzhemov, 35, 606 
Agrarian problems, 185, 186, 230, 278, 

283, 426, 533; grow more pressing, 

308; policy of Coalition with respect 

to, 371, 426, 539 

programme of SRs, 660 

revolution, 451 
Alexander Theatre, 336 
Alexandrovich (Dimitrevsky), 59, 128, 

305; elected to Ex. Com., 71, 79 
Alexeyev, General, 198-199, 361, 626 
Alexinsky, G. A., 457458 
Alexis, Tsarevich: proposed as Nicho- 
las IFs successor, 121, 146, 152, 159, 

Air 73 ' I74 

Allies, 5, 1 02, 103, 144, 241, 250, 261, 
310, 312, 314, 360, 361, 364, 365, 366, 
43 1 > 548, 607; obligations to, 247, 
249, 363; refuse passage to Emigre's, 
271; arrest Trotsky and others at 
Halifax, 309; demonstrations in 
favour of, 318 

American Embassy, 622 

Amnesty, 107, 121, 142, 179, 180 

Anarchism, 282, 287, 289, 300, 390, 
418, 526, 530, 553, .575 

Anarchists: in April-May, 325; at 
Durnovo Villa, 386-388, 412-414, 
469; in 'official Soviet* demonstra- 
tion, 418 

Anarchy, 48, 57-58, 60, 77, 78, 85, 116, 
118-119, 300, 369, 517, 523, 533 

Andreyev, Leonid, 28 

Anisimov, 465; accompanies Suk- 
hanov to Peter-Paul Fortress, 407- 

Anna Mikhailovna (Nikitsky's old 
nurse), 134, 182 

Antonov (Ovseyenko), V. A., 588, 595, 
597> 59 8 > 603, 620, 642, 643, 649, 650, 
652 ; member of first Soviet Govern- 
ment, 655 

April Days, 315-321, 324, 326, 329, 
330, 346> 349* 397> 423 528, 590 

Archangel, 30, 199, 305 

Armoured Division, 64; mood of on 
June 10, 404 

Army, 20, 22, 29, 48, 105, 126, 130, 
179, 201, 215, 232, 242; its role in 

revolution, 19; disorders in, 1 16, 123, 
215; conversion to civil status off 
duty, 1 20, 122123; acknowledges 
new order, 163164; Kornilov ques- 
tioned on state of, 216; Soviet and 
bourgeoisie struggle for, 220-222, 
232-234, 239, 276, 293, 294; un- 
satisfactory morale at front and in 
rear, 247, 249; Ex. Corns, of send 
representatives to Conference of 
Soviets, 255; disorganization of, 295; 
supports Soviet rather than Pro- 
visional Government, 301302, 330; 
Kerensky's proclamation to, 361 
362; demands peace, 369, 534; de- 
feated at front, 477; Committees and 
Soviets of, 506, 653 ; representation in 
Cabinet demanded by Cadets, 514; 
Army Committee, 638; no longer 
exists, 658. See also SOLDIERS. 

Astrov, 531, 598 

Aurora, Cruiser, 615 

Austria, 256; reactions to Coalition's 
attitude to war, 364365 

Avanesov, 636 

Avilov, B. V., 599 

Avksentiev, N. D., 469, 612, 613, 618, 
633; Minister of Interior in third 
Coalition, 487, 516, 517 

Axelrod, P. B., 322, 350, 351, 354 n. 

Bagratuni, 594 

Baltic Fleet: revolution in, 178, 179; 
passes resolution against Lenin, 298; 
sailors and anarchism, 325; Second 
Congress of Sailors of denounces 
Kerensky, 549; supports Bolsheviks, 
599, 602 

Station, 667 

Factory, 442, 578 

Banks: reopen, 136, 170; closed in 

October, 624, 649 
Barricades, 23, 45, 514, 541, 542, 575, 

577, 608 

Basil Island, 224, 390, 395, 442, 524 
Batursky: member of Ex. Com., 01 
Belenin (Shlyapnikov) : see SHLYAP- 

Bazarov, 24, 599; indignant with Pro- 

visional Government's Note to 

Allies, 314-315; discusses Bolshevik 

670 INDEX 

preparations for October in Novqya 
Zhizn, 568-569, 571, 572 

Bessarabov, 387 

Bicycle Battalion, 594 

Black Hundred, 6 n., 47, 70, 84, 98, 298, 
455, 458, .4^1, 462, 4^8, 469, 475, 
603 ; leading counter-revolutionary 
mobs, 57-58, 78; goes 'underground*, 
164; newspapers, 207-208 

Black Sea, 362 

Fleet, 237 

Bleichman : spokesman of Anarchists in 
Soviet, 325; and 'official Soviet' de- 
monstration, 413 

Bogdanov, B. O., 40, 59, 107, 165-166, 
216, 336, 435, 436, 465, 567; member 
of Ex. Com., 8 1 ; member of Labour 
Commission, 169; proposes remedy 
for excessive size of Soviet, 223, in 
charge of organization of Congress of 
Soviets, 254; protests violently against 
a speech of Lenin's, 286; proposes 
'official Soviet' demonstration, 401- 

Bolsheviks, 10 and passim', role of in 
February, 24, 44; do not oppose 
Provisional Government, 191; Bol- 
shevik headquarters in Kshesin- 
skaya's palace, 211, 275, 277-279; 
Bolshevik woman orator attacked, 
222; position in March, 226-227; 
resolution on war, 257; meet Lenin in 
Finland, 269; welcome Lenin, 272; 
Bolshevik party organization and 
'way of life*, 279-280; hear Lenin's 
speech on his return, 280-285; and 
slogan of 'Power to the Soviets', 283 ; 
joint meeting of with other Social- 
Democrats, 285-288; converted to 
Lenin's ideas, 289-292; violently 
attacked in Press, 296-299, 365; 
and April Days, 320-321; Ail- 
Russian Conference of, 324; plan for 
Bolshevik newspaper, 377; at Con- 
gress of Soviets, 378; ready to take 
power, 380, 403, 409; control Fac- 
tory Committees, 389; Bolshevik 
Military Organization, 389, 403, 508, 
562; and June 10, 390, 391, 392, 393, 
394, 396, 397, 398, 399, 400, 401, 
402-406; and 'official Soviet' de- 
monstration, 416-418; and July 
Days, 428, 429, 430, 431, 436, 437- 
439, 440, 441, 443, 454, 456, 458, 459, 
460, 462, 463, 464, 466, 467, 468, 469, 
470, 471, 473, 479, 481, 488, 501, 
502 ; arrested and in prison, 462, 463, 
464, 467, 470, 471, 478, 486, 604, 
644; Bolshevik Congress, 490-492; 
and Kornilov revolt, 505, 506, 507, 
508, 511, 512, 513, 520; and Pre- 

Parliament, 535-543, 555; and pre- 
liminaries of October coup, 547~*576*, 
577-583; and defence of Petersburg, 
560, 561, 562; in October Revolu- 
tion, 587, 588, 589, 590, 592, 593, 
594, 595> 59 6 , 59 8 , 599, 60 1, 602, 604, 
606, 607, 609, 610, on, 612, 613, 615, 
616, 617, 618, 626, 631, 632, 636, 637, 
638, 640, 645, 646, 649, 650, 654; 
take power alone, 655, 658, 659, 663. 
Bolsheviks, Central Committee of, 43, 
1 28, 240, 279 n., 288 n., 297, 298, 372, 
395, 399, 403, 405, 4i/, 429, 486, 563, 
571, 655, 656, 666; controls majority 
of Workers' Section, 389; issues pro- 
clamation calling for demonstration, 
390; cancels June 10 demonstration, 
394, 398; and July Days, 437-439, 
440, 447, 456-457, 461, 463, 464, 479, 
480; meets at Sukhanov's flat and 
decides on uprising, 556-557, 558, 

559, 56 
Bolshevik Revolution: see OCTOBER 


Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow, 494 

Bonar Law, 596 

Bonch (Bruyevich), V. D., 487; seizes 
printing-works, 89, 90 

Bourgeois Government, 6, 8, 1 1 , 12, 15, 
1 8, 56, zoo, 1 01, 107, 358; Lenin 
acknowledges necessity of, 326. See 


Bourgeoisie, 9 and passim; attitude to 
revolution, n, 12, 13, 18, 19, 50, 77; 
aims in power, 101-102; united with 
Tsarism against democracy, 104; 
split on question of monarchy, 154; 
struggles with Soviet for army, 
220222, 232-234, 239, 276, 293, 
294; necessity for compromise with, 
258; willing to destroy revolution at 
price of military disaster, 265; at- 
tacks on Lenin, 270, 297-299; and 
Coalition, 329, 330, 331, 332, 333, 
337, 338, 339, 345; many join SRs, 
347; struggle against proletariat, 
357; supports continuance of war, 
363; dictatorship of, 399, 400, 508, 
531; behind Kornilov, 501 

Bramson, L. M., 336; member of Ex. 
Com., 81; member of Financial 
Commission, 166 

Branting, K. H., 309 

Braunstein, M. A., 57; member of 
Supply Commission, 62; proposes 
appointment of Commissars and for- 
mation of militia, 62 

Breshko-Breshkovskaya, Y. K. (Grand- 
ma) : fails to arrive when expected, 
23 1 ; arrives in Petersburg, 255256 

Brest-Litovsk, 23 

Brouckere, Louis de, 309 

Buchanan, Sir George (British Am- 
bassador): watches funeral of 'vic- 
tims of the revolution', 246 

Bulkin, 397 

Bund, Bundists, 80, 168, 229, 634 n., 

Bureau of Central Ex. Com., 459, 460, 
464, 474, 476, 500, 502, 516, 532, 548, 


565, 599 
fkhov, 653 

Cachin, 309, 366; member of French 
delegation, 261; speaks to Ex. 
Com., 262; speaks to Conference of 
Soviets, 263; reports on Russia on 
return to France, 295 

Cadets (Constitutional Democrats), 
4x1., 1711., 53, 11411., 146 n., 174, 
203, 216, 228, 249, 338, 364, 379, 
487, 489, 496, 497, 508 n., 514, 535, 
536, 538, 539>. 575, on, 612; be- 
come predominant party among 
bourgeoisie, 213-214, 252; and Coali- 
tion Government, 345-346, 358; 
leave Coalition Government, 422, 
424, 425, 445 

Cadets (military), 26, 58, 179, 486, 487, 
494, 501 n., 507, 518, 565, 590, 
594, 598 ? 601, 602, 603, 605, 609, 614, 
619, 620, 627, 640, 641, 642 

Cappa, A., 366 

Catherine Canal, 28-29 

Catherine Hall (of Tauride Palace), 46, 
48, 50, 52, 58, 97, 127, 153, 225, 226, 
443, 445, 448, 453, 455, 459; crowds 
in, 64, 65, 71, 73, 84, 91, 92, 431; 
Miliukov addresses crowds in, 144- 
148; filled with soldiers, 219 

Caucasians, 512 

Cavalry Division, i4th: brought back 
from front, 468 

Cecil, Lord Robert, 363, 364 

Central Ex. Com., 424, 425, 426, 431, 
436, 440, 443, 445, 448, 449, 455, 459, 
461, 463, 464, 471, 472, 474, 475, 476, 
477 > 478, 479> 48o, 487, 488, 491, 492, 
493, 498, 499; 5o, 52, 504* 505> 56, 
508, 510, 512, 517, 523, 524, 535, 549, 
561, 573, 581, 5&2, 590, 592, 593, 595, 
600, 608, 6 1 6, 6 1 8, 619, 625, 635, 646, 
656, 666, 667; set up by Congress of 
Soviets, 384-385; meeting in July 
Days, 433-436, 447; moves into 
Smolny, 498; Provisional Military 
Committee of, 562; debates defence 
of Petersburg, 565-568; new Com- 
mittee elected by Second Congress of 
Soviets, 665 

INDEX 671 

Chaikovsky, N. V., 371, 418 

Chaliapine, F., 28 

Champ de Mars, 28, 1 34, 1 94, 209, 246, 
316, 415, 416, 418, 442 

Chasseurs: send representatives to first 
meeting of Soviet, 61 ; in October, 582 

Gheievanin, F. A., 15 

Chernolussky : member of Ex. Com., 81 

Chernomazov: in list of Secret Police 
agents, 197 

Chernov, V. M., 305-307, 336, 348, 
383, 389? .412, 4 J 7, 4i.9>. 480, 487; 
joins Liaison Commission, 310; 
Minister of Agriculture in first 
Coalition Government, 347, 370; 
arrested by Kronstadters, 444-447; 
member of third Coalition Govern- 
ment, 489 

Chief of Staff (Petersburg), 564 

Chkheidze, N. S., 7, 15, 35> 37. 58, 1 1 1, 
115, 117, 134, 169, 177-178, i94> 240, 
243, 256, 259, 322, 330, 336, 389, 390, 
396, 433-434. 435. 45* 452, 453, 460, 
461, 473, 497, 519; member of 
Provisional Committee of Duma, 35 ; 
member of Provisional Ex. Com. of 
Soviet, 40; Chairman of Soviet, 60, 
140, 150-151, 265, 349, 359; in- 
cluded in Ex. Com., 71, 79; position 
in Ex. Com., 82; makes speeches to 
crowds, soldiers, etc., 83-84, 93, 431; 
afraid of taking power, 107; reports 
to Soviet on resumption of work, 192, 
194-195; discusses Manifesto to the 
Peoples of the World, 205-206; 
argues against licensing Black Hun- 
dred newspapers, 207208; intro- 
duces Gorky to Ex. Com. and Soviet, 
209; speaks to demonstrating regi- 
ments, 219220; included in 
'Swamp', 229; one of 'new majority' 
in Ex. Com., 245; member of 
Liaison Commission, 247; his son's 
accidental death and funeral, 251, 
256 ; answers foreign delegates at Ex. 
Com., 262; meets Lenin on his 
arrival, 269-273; denounced by 
Lenin as 'revolutionary defensist', 
279, 281; disperses demonstration 
against Provisional Government, 316; 
ignores Trotsky on his appearance in 
Ex. Com., 340; ceases to be Chair- 
man of Soviet, 528 

Chudnovsky: arrested on journey to 
Russia, 309 

Cirque Moderns, 500, 562 

Civil Governor of Petersburg, 49, 
112-113, 115-116,170, 183,437,576 

Civil war, 273, 281, 287, 314, 318, 319, 
320, 412, 509, 529, 536, 567, 611, 621, 

672 INDEX 

Coalition, 6, 97, 101, 106, 107, 138, 139, 


Government, first, 329-341, 345- 

352, 356, 35B-36I, 363> 364, 369* 37i> 
376, 3?8, 3833 3% 390, 39i, 392. 395, 
396, 398, 400* 402, 403* 404* 4<> 6 , 407. 
408, 41 1, 412, 416, 41 7, 432, 435, 436, 
441, 442, 443, 445, 447, 453, 454, 45 6 , 
457, 458, 460, 463* 472, 473. 474, 
485 ; programme and composition of, 
336-339; official statement on peace, 
360-361, 362; relations with Soviets, 
380, 394; splits, 384, 395; collapse of, 
421-423, 424-425; reconstruction of, 
425-426; recovers after July Days, 

Government, second, 474, 476, 478, 

Government, third, 488-489, 491, 

492, 495* 496 5 498, 52, 53, 55, 
506, 508 n., 510, 511, 514, 517, 519, 
522, 525; proposed transfer to Mos- 
cow, 515, 539, 548 

Government, fourth, 527, 528, 529, 
53, 533, 534, 535, 538, 539, 54, 54 1 , 
542, 547, 548, 549, 550, 55i, 552, 557, 

"4 567* J 

558, 559, 561, 564, 567* 575, 582, 587. 
588, 592, 593, 595, 596, 598, 601, 602, 
604, 605, 606, 607, 609, 610, 6 1 1, 612, 
613, 614, 615, 618, 619, 620, 621, 622, 
623, 625, 626, 627, 632, 633, 634, 637, 
646, 656, 666; besieged in Winter 
Palace, 640643 ; arrested and sent to 
Peter-Paul Fortress, 642-644, 645, 648 

Commissars, 107, 136, 490, 510, 590, 
59 * 593, 594, 595, 59$, 598, 600, 60 1, 
603, 608, 614, 618, 630, 654, 655, 
665; needed for defence of revolution, 
58, 62-63 ; appointed by Ex. Com., 72 

Committee of Public Safety, 607, 611, 
625, 633, 646 

Committee of Revolutionary Defence, 

^ 559, 56o 

Compromisers, 358, 378, 522, 637, 639, 
640, 644 

Conference of Soviets, Preliminary 
Ail-Russian, 255, 257, 258-259, 378; 
receives Allied delegations, 263; re- 
sults of its work, 262-265 

Congress of Soviets, First All-Russian, 
255, 378-385, 389, 390, 39 J , 392, 393, 
394, 395, 398, 4 01 , 43> 44, 46, 4"> 
415, 418, 424, 476, 525, 543, 631, 636; 
sets up Central Ex. Com., 384, 425; 
and Anarchists, 387, 388; performs 
police functions, 388 

, Second All-Russian, 499, 555, 556, 

572, 582, 599, 602, 615, 630, 631, 632, 
633, 634, 635-640, 644-647, 648, 656, 
663, 664, 665, 666 

, northern district, 594 

Constituent Assembly, n, 68, 107, 120, 
121, 122-123, 147, 153, 154, 176, 
187-188, 198, 202, 218, 282, 320, 333, 
37i, 383, 481. 53 1 , 532, 538, 539, 540, 
549, 550, 55 1 , 552, 556, 573, 605, 606, 
623, 630, 636, 657, 659, 660 

Co-operative movement, 58, 321, 346, 
471 n., 534, 611 

Cossacks, 6, 26, 510, 533, 590, 660; 
show sympathy with revolution, 15; 
patrolling streets, 19; some regiments 
adhere to revolution, 64; false 
alarm of attack on Tauride Palace, 
93; Cossack Congress, 255; Cossack 
Regiments expected to support Coali- 
tion on June 10, 404; 'loyal' in July 
Days, 442; Don Cossacks brought 
back from front, 468; 3rd Cossack 
Corps marches on Petersburg, 511; 
attack Kaluga Soviet, 543; in Octo- 
ber, 589, 593, 594, 600, 618-619, 640, 
641, 651, 666; Union of Cossack 
troops, 617 

Council of Ministers, Council of State : 


Council of People's Commissars, 654, 
^55, 665 

Council of the Russian Republic, 539, 
540, 612, 613, 625 

Counter-revolution, 57-58, 78, 85, no, 
164, 176, 215, 346, 395, 398, 455, 456, 
4^9, 473, 474, 475, 485, 49 1, 54, 57, 
517, 529, 539, 547, 548, 568, 591, 603, 
610, 617, 626, 636, 637, 640, 646, 664, 

Coup d'etat, 141, 399, 468, 479, 480, 548, 
561, 562, 563, 564, 566, 583, 587, 599, 
605, 606, 648, 662 

Credentials Committee (of Soviet), 61 

Crimea, 198 

Cuxholm Regiment, 625; represented 
at first meeting of Soviet, 6 1 ; re- 
garded as doubtful on June 10, 404; 
in October, 582 

Czech Socialists, 367 

Dan (Gurvich), F. I., 256-257, 262, 322, 
352, 356, 357, 394, 397, 398, 401, 426, 
443, 449, 455, 459~46, 461, 473, 474, 
479, 490, 543, 566, 567, 568, 582, 6 10, 
613, 616, 617, 618, 633, 635, 636, 644, 
645, 663, 664; editor oflzvestiya, 299 
Dashkevich, Second-Lieut., 592 
Defensism, Defensists, 3, 8, n, 15, 19, 
20, 81, 165, 167, 168, 202, 206, 221, 
235, 239, 242, 243, 244, 245, 258 n., 
261, 278, 279, 281, 282, 287, 338 n., 
357, 664 

Delo Naroda, 224 

Democratic Conference, 524, 527, 
532 n., 538, 554, 556 

Demonstrations, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14, 37, 40- 
41, 419, 422, 498, 501, 523, 571, 573; 
fired on, 22, 430, 442; of war- 
wounded, 299, 455; for and against 
Miliukov and Provisional Govern- 
ment, 315-319; temporarily for- 
bidden in April, 319-320, in June, 
393; of 'over-forties', 370, 391; in 
favour of Anarchists, 387; against 
Coalition Government, 389-394; 
proposed for June 10, 389-394, 396- 
401; 'official Soviet', 401, 406, 411- 
418; of July Days, 427, 428, 429, 

430-43 1 > 433, 436, 438, 439, 44> 442, 
443, 444, 451, 454, 456, 459, 481; in 
Moscow, 494, 577; in October, 564, 
567, 590, 600, 609, 611 

Denikin, 510 

Detention Prison: attacked by crowds, 
36; set on fire, 42 

Directory, 508, 514-515* 523 

'Disorders' (rioting, fires, looting, etc.), 
3, 5, 6, 16, 19, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 

29, 41, 42, 43, 45, 47, 48, 50, 56, 
57-58, 78, 84, 92-93, 149, 157-158, 
183, 308, 368-369, 386, 474-475. 5"> 
513; Gorky grumbles at, 95-96; 
discussed by Duma Committee, 
118-119; in Baltic Fleet, 1 78-1 79 ; of 
April Days, 315-319; of July Days, 
430, 431, 433, 439-440, 442, 443, 444, 
451-452, 454, 455, 459, 462, 464, 468; 
at end of September, 533 ; in October, 
563, 564, 580, 599, 603, 605, 608, 609, 
636, 649, 650 

District Commander (of Petersburg), 

214, 564, 583, 589, 590, 593, 594 n., 


District Court : on fire, 42, 45 
Dno (junction), 100, 109, 112, 511, 512, 

5x3, 666 
Dobrovolsky, 97 
Don Cossacks, 468, 618-619 
Dual power, 215, 295, 333, 559 
Dubois: arrested and released, 626 
Duma, 4n., 12 n., 67, 71, 73 n., 433, 

532, 535> 546, 596 
, First, 14 n., 552 
, Second, i5n., H7n., 457, 552; 

Second-Duma exiles, 142, 231, 

, Third, 4 n., 7 n., 35 n., iisn., 

117 n. 
, Fourth, 4, 10, 13, 14, 15, 22, 27, 28, 

30, 36, 49, 53, 57, 67, 113 n., ii7n., 
145, 151, 153, 201, 218, 219, 275, 
390; attitude to revolution of, 18, 35; 
dissolution of, 30, 34; elects Pro- 

INDEX 673 

visional Committee, 34-35; receives 
mutinous regiments, 37; Military 
Committee of, 40; in right wing of 
Tauride Palace, 50; ready to co- 
operate with Tsar, 1 10 
Duma Committee: see PROVISIONAL 


Steering Committee, 13, 1 8 
Durnovo (Tsarist Minister) : his villa as 

Anarchist base, 386-388, 412-41^,, 

469, 604; workers' delegates in his 

villa, 390, 394, 395 
Dvinsk, 362, 454 
Dybenko: member of First Soviet 

Government, 655 
Dyen, 168 

Economics: problems of, 60, 185-187, 
212-213; Lenin's and Bolsheviks'' 
neglect of, 284, 421, 525, 571; 
debated by conference of Factory 
Committees, 373; economic pro- 
gramme of Soviet Government, 

Ehrlich, 638; member of Ex. Com., 80; 
supporter of Coalition, 138; member 
of Ex. Com. Propaganda Commis- 
sion, 165, 1 68 

Eight-hour day, 211-213, 218, 220, 232, 


'Elders', 532, 625 

Electro-Technical Battalion, 64; in 
October, 582 

Emelyanova, L., 444 

Engelhardt, Colonel, 69, 71, 125 

Engels, 291, 292 

England (and Great Britain), 361, 629, 
657 ; as model for bourgeois Govern- 
ment, 1 02, 301; British officers at 
Soviet meeting, 144; asked to re- 
ceive Tsar, 198-199; French and 
British delegates to Russia, 260-263, 
266; Ex. Com.'s protest to against 
arrest of Trotsky and others, 309; 
Chernov's conversations with British 
statesmen, 310; Government releases 
emigres, 311; questions in Parliament, 
363, 364; Labour Conference, 366 


Ex. Com. (Executive Committee of the 
Petersburg Soviet of Workers' and 
Soldiers' Deputies), 24 and passim, 
elections to, 70-71, 79; relations with 
Military Commission, 71; holds 
first session, 72 ; urges troops to obey 
officers, 76-77; in Room 13, 78, 113; 
hears Gorky's appeal for preserva- 
tion of artistic treasures, 209; 
composition and characteristics of 
first, 79-83; work of constantly 

674 INDEX 

interrupted, 83-86, 176-177; organ- 
izational and routine work of, 86, 
135-136, I39> HD-W 164-170; 
signs orders for arrests, 96-97; 
proclamations of, 100, 124, 1127; 
debates political problems of revolu- 
tion, 107108; refuses Rodzianko a 
train, 108-112; attitude to war of, 
IOQ, 239-245; appoints Nikitsky 
assistant to Civil Governor, 113; 
confers with Duma Committee on 
Provisional Government, 114-126; 
suppresses SR~Interdistrictite leaflet, 
129-130; will not enter Provisional 
Government, 137; deals with sol- 
diers* tram-fares, 171172; and 
Tsar's abdication, 172-173; and 
revolution in Baltic Fleet, 178; 
asked by Grohman to reorganize 
national economy, 186; refuses to 
allow Nicholas to leave Russia, 198- 
201; regarded as 'openers of the 
front', 203; debates licensing of news- 
papers, 207; clashes with Inter- 
district Committee, 208; discusses 
proposed offensive with Kornilov, 
215-216; discusses representation in 
Soviet, 222-224; composition and 
characteristics of in middle of March, 
227-230; receives many military 
delegations, 234236; new petty- 
bourgeois majority in, 245, 260, 304, 
313; debates proposed statement of 
Provisional Government,, 251-253; 
out of touch with Soviet, 259-260; 
Allied delegations visit, 261-263; 
hears of Lenin's impending arrival, 
265; sanctions the 'sealed train', 
272; split in, 300-301, 359; recog- 
nized by Conference of Soviets as 
All-Russian Soviet organ, 304; re- 
organization of, 307; hears report of 
Liaison Commission, 312-313; and 
Miliukov's note to Allies, 314; for- 
bids demonstrations in April Days, 
319-320; Internationalist group in, 
323; and Coalition, 329~33<>> 334> 
335> S3 6 , 358; Henderson speaks in, 
365-366; and Anarchists, 38$, 387; 
discusses cancelled demonstration of 
June 10, 396-401; and 'official 
Soviet' demonstration, 411, 414; new 
elections to, 529-53 1 ; discusses de- 
fence of Petersburg, 559-561 

working conditions in, 211-213; 
soldiers demand control of, 232; 
Factory Committees, an, 373, 
389* 561; soldiers visit, 233, 234, 
294; morale in, 247; Lenin calls 
for armed workers in, 284; resolu- 
tion calling for power to the Soviets, 
300; in April Days, 316, 317; re- 
elections to Soviets in, 324; Nevka 
resolution on Coalition, 358; dis- 
orders among factory workers, 368; 
on Vyborg Side on strike, 387 ; Central 
Bureau of Factory Committees issues 
proclamation, 390; delegates from 
Congress of Soviets sent to, 393, 394, 
395; pass resolutions against Bol- 
shevik demonstration, 396; in July 
Days, 427, 429, 430, 435, 436, 442, 
449~45 3 459? 47 1 \ second Conference 
of Factory Committees, 492 ; in Mos- 
cow on strike, 494; in October, 578, 

59i, 598 
Fedorov, 491 
Financial Commission of Ex. 

164, 1 66, 167 


Factories, 9, 86, 170, 177, 194, 212, 294, 
300, 400, 412, 488, 507, 529, 558, 
662; meetings in, 5, 14, 233; elec- 
tions in, 15; at a standstill, 16; 
occupied by troops, 23, 25; new 

Finland, 179, 305, 362, 513, 620; 
Lenin met by Bolsheviks in, 270 

Finland Station, 430, 513, 620; scenes 
at Lenin's arrival, 269-274; Chernov 
arrives at, 307; Martov and the 
Mensheviks arrive at, 351 

Finnish District Committee, 604 

Finnish Regiment: represented at 
first meeting of Soviets, 61 ; threatens 
to arrest Provisional Government, 
316-317; regarded as doubtful on 
June 10, 404 

Finns, 204 

First Theses of Lenin, 289, 324 

Fleet, Central Committee of, 508, 549, 

Fontanka (Canal), 45 

Foreign policy, 9, 120, 314, 360, 583, 
594> 596; of Provisional Govern- 
ments, 227, 247, 249, 539; Miliukov's 
disavowed by Kerensky and Nek- 
rasov, 248 

'Former' people, 83, 349 

France, 295, 657; Socialists in, 19; as 
model for bourgeois government, 
1 02, 301; French and British dele- 
gations to Russia, 260-263, 366; 
Chernov's conversations with French 
statesmen, 310; representatives at 
mass-meetings, 361; Tereshchenko's 
telegram in Chamber of Deputies, 
364; and Stockholm Conference^ 

Frankorussky, 39, 40, 62; talks 
to Sukhanov of agrarian troubles, 

Funeral of 'victims of the revolution' : 
Soviet decides on, 193; opposition 
to burial-place in Palace Square, 
194, 197, 209; takes place on Champ 
de Mars, 246-247 

Gatchina, 136, 513, 593, 666 

Geldeman, 637 

General Staff, 218, 454, 455, 458, 463, 
464, 487, 513, 517, 559, 560, 589, 
590> 59 * > 592, 593. 594> 596, 59$, 600, 
60 1, 602, 603, 606, 609, 615, 6 1 8, 619, 
621, 632, 652, 653 

Germany, Germans, 178, 206, 215, 218, 
220, 238, 243, 276, 360, 366, 367, 504, 
534, 539> 548, 583* 629, 657, 
658; German provocation, 12, 475; 
Socialists in, 19, 243; rumoured 
revolution in Berlin, 151 ; German 
offensive, 215-216; appeal to Ger- 
man proletariat in Manifesto to the 
Peoples of the World, 217; Lenin and 
others travel to Russia via, 270, 271, 
272, 297, 311, 351; Platten's re- 
lations with German Government, 
311-312; reactions to Coalition's 
attitude to war, 364-365; German 
yoke, 366; Germans ready to go to 
Stockholm, 367; Lenin's supposed 
relations with General Staff, 453, 454, 
458-459; Kornilov surrenders Riga, 
to, 503; 'Bolshevik German agents', 
511; threatening Reval, 537; revolt 
in Fleet, 573 

Glebov: member of first Soviet Govern- 
ment, 655 

Godnev, 117, 152, 156; in *Left Seven' 
group, 249 

Goldenberg, I. P., 287 

Golitsyn, Prince, 51 

Gorky, Maxim, 3, 8, 23, 24, 25, 27, 28, 
29, 42, 43, i68n., 205, 303, 519; at 
Tauride Palace, 78-79; disillusioned 
with revolution, 95-96; and the 
Manifesto to the Peoples of the 
World, 197, 203, 206; speaks to Ex. 
Com. and Soviet on preservation of 
artistic treasures, 208-209; asked to 
negotiate for separate peace, 365; 
and 'official Soviet* demonstration, 
415; on rumours of Bolshevik coup, 
563-564; 25th anniversary as a 
writer, 579, 580 

Gots, A. R., 336, 436, 461, 469, 478, 
609, 613, 6 1 6, 6 1 8, 633; sent by Ex. 
Com. to welcome Chernov, 305 

Governor-General of Petersburg, 6 n. ; 
Savinkov appointed, 509; Palchinsky 

as 515,517 
Grekov, 017 

INDEX 675 

Grenadiers: fraternize with revolu- 
tionaries, 27; represented at first 
meeting of Soviet, 61; follow Bol- 
sheviks, 389; expected to aid revolt on 
June 10, 404; demonstrate in July 
Days, 429; in October, 582, 611 

Grinevich (Schechter), 40, 58, 67, 69; 
elected to Praesidium of Soviet, 60; 
elected to Literary Commission, 64; 
included in Ex. Com., 71, 79, 82 

Grohman, V. G., 39, 50, 555; member 
of Supply Commission, 62, 507; 
consults Sukhanov on economic 
problems, 185-189 

Guchkov, A. I., 12, 133, 153, 563,,590, 
626 ; Minister of War in Provisional 
Government, 76, 85, 102, 103, 126, 
145, 249, 295, 313, 3.18, 327; objects 
to terms of agreement with Ex. Com., 
130-132; travels to Pskov to obtain 
Tsar's abdication, 152, 158-159, 172, 
177, 178; supports Michael as Tsar's 
successor, 174, 175-176; resigns, 335 

Gvozdev, K. A., 643 ; freed from prison 
by crowds, 38; member of Provisional 
Ex. Com., 40, 58; elected to Praesi- 
dium of Soviet, 60; chairman of 
Credentials Committee, 61; included 
in Ex. Com., 79; member of Finan- 
cial Commission, 167168; member 
of Labour Commission, 169; chosen 
to arrest Tsar, 200-201 

Headquarters, 36, 38, 125, 493, 506, 

509, 5H, 523> 587 
Helsingfors, 362, 604, 617, 652, 667; 

Baltic Fleet in, 178, 179, 599, 602; 

Kerensky's illness in, 204 
Henderson, A., 365366 
Hindenburg, 215, 365 
Homogeneous Bureau of Ex. Com., 315, 

Hungary: Socialists in, 367 

Interdistrict Committee, Interdistric- 
tites, 8 1, 128, 208, 213, 231 n., 377, 
392, 399> 4?4, 406, 436, 439, $54,* 
Trotsky joins, 359; join United 
Internationalists, 379; conference 
of, 419-421, 422, 448; programme of, 
420, 421; leave Central Ex. Com. 
meeting, 434; and return to it, 435; 
formally merge with the Bolsheviks, 

International, 101, 265, 306, 331, 349; 
Communist, 279 n.; First, 291, 536 

Internationale) 142 n., 658, 665 

Inzhenerny Street, 581 

Irkutsk, 203 

676 INDEX 

Isaac Square, 608 

Iskra, 1 02 n., 256 n., 258 n., 278, 
322 n., 353, 354 

Italy, 366, 629; Socialists in oppose 
war, 11, 305; Socialists willing to 
attend Stockholm Conference, 367 

Izborsky Regiment : brought back from, 
front, 468 

Izmailovsky Regiment: mutinies, 36; 
decides to join Bolshevik demon- 
stration, 391 ; regarded as doubtful on 
June 10, 404; in July Days, 455; in 
October, 582 

Izvestiya, 59 n., 89, 127-128, 195, 211, 
213, 300, 444, 516, 656; publishes 
real names of Soviet leaders, 80; 
reorganized, 1 64- 1 65 ; protests 
against attacks on Lenin, 299 

Joffe, 580 

July Days, 278, 365, 424, 425-470, 475* 
479-482, 485, 486, 489, 490, 491, 492, 
500, 501, 502, 508, 513, 514, 520, 521, 
525> 527, 558, 563> 565* 588, 655 

June 10, 389, 390, 393, 394, 402-406, 
4 11 , 432>525 655 

Kaiser, 151, 206, 215, 243, 365, 502, 575 

Kaledin: supports Kormlov, 510 

Kaluga, 543 

Kamenets-Podolsk, 362 

Kamenev (Rosenfeld), L. B., 225-226, 
240, 263, 279, 280, 285, 292, 336, 
377, 391, 393, 4'4> 4*7, 4*8, 4*9, 43<>> 
438> 445, 4635 464, 466, 467, 470, 492, 
520, 532, 538, 557, 566, 571-572, 576, 
636, 645, 653, 655, 656, 662; dis- 
cusses Bolshevik position with Suk- 
hanov, 226-227; on Bolshevik re- 
solution on war, 257-258; attacked in 
press, 297; leader of Bolsheviks in 
Soviet ana Ex. Com., 324; speaks for 
Bolsheviks on June 10 demonstration, 
398, 399; against seizure of power on 
June 10, 405; arrested in July Days, 

Kamenno-ostrovsky Prospect, 16, 26, 

Kamkov, 347, 434, 574, 610 

Kapelinsky, N, Y., 40, 58, 531 ; member 
of Ex. Com., 71, 79, 82; secretary of 
Ex. Com., 177 

Karakhan, 516 

Karpovka, 34, 179, 197, 276, 319, 500, 
533, 556, 580, 583, 630 

Kartashev: Procurator of Holy Synod 
in third Coalition, 489 

Kazan, 667 

Kazansky Square, 22 

Keksholm : see CUXHOLM 

Kerensky, A. F., 6, 17, 18, 21, 22, 29, 
30-33, 37, 47, 48, 65, 91-92, 93, 106, 
116, 117, 118, 120, 135, 148, 179, 180- 
181, 197, 209, 210, 224, 240, 282, 321, 
327-329, 344, S^i, 383, 43i, 450, 472, 
473, . 74, 528, 542 ; member of 
Provisional Committee of Duma, 35; 
forms Military Commission, 40; 
declares Shchegloyitov under arrest, 
52; at first meeting of Soviet, 59; 
elected to Praesidium of Soviet, 60; 
leaves Soviet for right wing of 
Tauride Palace, 81 ; speaks to crowds, 
9<$ ; taken in by false alarm, 94; in- 
vited to join Government, 101; 
hysterical over refusal of train to 
Rodzianko, 111-112; showing signs 
of strain, 114-115; offered Ministry of 
Justice in Provisional Government, 
127, 137; denounces SR~Interdis- 
trictite leaflet, 129-130; objects to 
Sokolov's draft proclamation, 130- 
132; appeals to Soviet for support, 
140-144; Minister of Justice in first 
Provisional Government, 145, 149, 
363; leads anti-monarchists in 

inet, 175-176; declares Tsar may 
leave for England, 199; announces 
reorganization of officers' corps, 
204205; disavows Miliukov's foreign 
policy statement, 248; in 'Left Seven' 
group, 249; supports demand for 
Coalition, 329-330, 335; proposed as 
Minister of Justice in Coalition 
Government, 336; Minister of War in 
first Coalition Cabinet, 339, 340, 347, 
361-363, 458; proclamation to army, 
361-362; visits front, 363, 370; at 
peak of popularity, 374; included 
in Central Ex. Com., 384; denies 
rumours of troops brought from front, 
392-393, 460; Premier in Coalition 
Governments, 474, 476, 485, 486, 
487, 488, 489, 490, 493, 494, 495, 
498, 516, 522, 533, 538, 548, 552, 
555, 558, 562, 564, 565, 583, 587, 
595; and Kornilov revolt, 502, 503, 
505, 507* 508-509, 547; at Pre-Parlia- 
ment, 537, 597, 605-608, 611, 612, 
615; and October Revolution, 590, 
59 r , 593, 594, 600, 60 1, 602, 604, 
609, 612, 616, 617, 618, 621, 622, 
623, 625, 628, 629, 643, 644, 645, 
650, 651, 652, 662, 665, 666, 667 

Kerensky, Olga Lvovna, 22, 27, 131, 
179, 1 80 

Khabaloy, General, 6, 17; his pro- 
clamations torn down, 16, 25 

Kharkov, 533, 667 

Khinchuk, 637 

Khrustalev-Nosar, 59 

Kiev, 198, 362 

Kishkin, N. M., 508, 641, 643 

Klembovsky, General : supports Korni- 
lov, 510 

Kokoshkin : Comptroller of Finances in 
third Coalition, 489 

Kolontai, A. M.; supports Lenin at 
Social-Democratic joint meeting, 
288; arrested, 486 

Kolpino, 667 

Konovalov, A. I., 35, 53, 55, 65, 382- 
383, 555, 607, 642; in 'Left Seven' 
group, 249, 535 . , , , 

Kopeika printing-shop : seized by Bonch, 

Kornilov, General, 33, 319, 493, 498, 

535, 542, 563* 565., 575. 593, 610, 
617, 637, 646, 653, 665; demands Ex. 
Com.'s co-operation in war, 2 1 5-2 1 6 ; 
greets Volhynian Regiment, 218; 
leads troops against Petersburg, 500, 
652; arrested, 513 

revolt, 66, 345, 500-513, 514, 517, 
5i9 520, 521, 522, 523, 524, 527, 
53 1 538, 543, 547, 54, 5^8, 589, 626 

Kornilovites, 501, 508, 509, 510, 511, 
512, 513, SHi 517. 538, 610, 611, 
626, 632, 650, 653 

Kozlovsky: member of Ex. Com., 81 

Krasikov, 108, 112; member of Propa- 
ganda Commission, 165 

Krasnoe Selo, 404, 420, 448, 479, 667 

Krasnov, General, 593, 594, 617, 61 8 

Krasny, 513 

Kresty Prison: attacked by crowds, 36 

Kronstadt, 498, 517, 652, 667; joins the 
revolution, 66; hears Trotsky and 
Lunacharsky with approval, 372; 
sends representatives to workers* 
meeting, 390; expected to support 
Bolsheviks on June 10, 404; and July 
Days, 438, 440-448, 451, 462-464, 
465-467, 468, 469, 479, 480, 486; 
and Kornilov revolt, 508 

Kronvergsky Prospect, 23, 44, 276 

Kropotkin, 570, 630 

Krylenko, N. V., 392, 394; member of 
first Soviet Government, 655 

Krymov, 511, 512 

Kshesinskaya : protests against seizure 
of her house, 209-2 1 1 ; her house as 
Bolshevik headquarters, 211, 275, 
276, 277-279, 280, 282, 298, 324, 
404, 416, 441, 451, 462, 469, 479 

Kuchin, 454, 638 

Kuhlmann, R. von, 302, 365 

Kulaks, 308, 321 

Kurayev, 491 

Kurlov, P. G., 88 

Kuskov, 586 

INDEX 677 

Labour Commission of Ex. Com., 167 

Labriola, A., 366 

Ladyzhnikov, I. P., 42, 43; produces 
list of Secret Police agents, 196-197 

Lafont, 261, 361 

Land, 201, 202, 230, 426, 479, 555, 584, 
606, 609, 610, 6n, 613, 623, 629; 
for the peasants, 185, 213; and Free- 
dom, 218, 347, 363; Peace, Bread, 
and, 264-265, 327, 396, 422, 456, 
549? 552, 558, 588, 6 59; seizure and 
distribution of, 283, 300, 371, 426, 
533, 552, 555, 57o; speculations in, 
308, 327; Lenin's 'Land Decree', 
659-662, 663 

Lapinsky, 597 

Larin (Lurye), M. A., 230, 336, 496, 
570; part-author of resolution on 
defence and peace, 244; joins 
Bolsheviks, 524, 554 

Lashevich, 562, 596 

Lazimir, 562 

Lebedev; member of Third Coalition 
Government, 488 

Leeds: Labour conference in, 366 

'Left Seven* in Provisional Government, 
249, 250, 339 

Lenin (Ulyanov), 15 n., 33, 178, 226, 
227, 265, 305, 306, 311, 318, 323, 
324> 338, 345, 353, 354, 35$, S^o, 
369, 373, 374, 375, 37^ 377, 383, 
3% 389, 392, 393, 396, 397, 403, 
404, 405, 406, 418, 419, 451, 478, 
490, 49 1 , 501, 522, 523, 524, 525, 
529, 537, 55i, 553, 554, 555, 55$; 
arives in Petersburg, 263, 269-285, 
338; travels via Germany, 270-271, 
276, 297, 2983 309, 351; speaks 'to 
the people', 274, 275, 276, 277, 278; 
meets Sukhanov, 278279; as orator, 
280; first speech to Bolshevik leaders, 
281285; his 'constitutional system', 
282284; calls for Power to the 
Soviets, 282-283; has no economic 
programme, 284, 289; speaks at 
Social-Democratic joint meeting, 
285288; discussed by Skobelev, Su- 
khanov, and Miliukov, 288-289; the 
First Theses, 289, 324; Bolsheviks con- 
quered by his ideas, 289-292; arrival 
of unnoticed by the masses, 293; 
attacked by press, 297-299, 371 ; and 
April Days, 320-321; speaks at 
Peasant Congress, 371; speaks to 
Soldiers' Section of Soviet, 371-372; 
declares that Bolsheviks are ready to 
take power, 380-381; outlines pro- 
gramme of a Bolshevik Government, 
381-382; included in Central Ex. 
Com., 384; draft of Bolshevik pro- 
gramme, 420 421; and July Days, 

678 INDEX 

437, 438, 440, 44 1 , 442, 4^i, 464, 
479, 480, 481 n.; accused of relations 
with German General Staff, 453, 454, 
457-459, 4 6l -4 62 > 472J disappears to 
avoid arrest, 470-472, 484, 487; in 
hiding, 516, 525, 536, 550; in Octo- 
ber, 556, 557, 567, 568, 570, 572, 573, 
574, 575, 576, 583, 606, 627, 628- 
630, 631, 632, 635, 636, 637, 646, 
649, 652, 654, 655, 656, 658, 659, 
660, 66 1, 662, 665-666; State and 
Revolution, 570 

Lerda, G., 366 

Letopis, 3, 4, 17, 21, 24, 32, 46, 96, 98, 
224, 225, 256, 303, 339, 374, 410, 
415, 419 

Liaison Commission of Ex. Com., 245, 
246, 255, 281, 288, 300, 329, 335, 
590; proposed by Sukhanov, 188 
190; not in being on March 6, 200; 
meets in Marian Palace, 217; asks 
Provisional Government for state- 
ment of war aims, 247-248; 249-251 ; 
work increasing, 309 ; demands Plat- 
ten's admission to Russia, 310-312; 
reports to Ex. Com., 312313; ceases 
to function, 359 

Lieber (Goldman), M. L, 391, 411, 
412, 461, 463, 464, 465-466, 663, 
664; member of Ex. Com., 81, 229; 
invites Sukhanov to join Homo- 
geneous Bureau, 3i5n.; praises 
Coalition Government, 380; attacks 
Bolsheviks, 400-401 

Liebknecht, Karl, 273 

Liebknecht, Wilhelm, 273 n., 291, 573 

Ligoyka, 89 

Liquidators, 15 

Liteiny Prospect, 23, 36, 41, 42, 45, 
430, 442, 443, 464 

Literary Commission of Soviet, 63; 
elections to, 64; begins work in Duma 
Chairman's office, 6465, 67, 68-69; 
moves to another room, 69 

Lithuanian Regiment: mutinies, 36; 
received by Duma, 39 ; represented at 
first meeting of Soviet, 61 ; marches to 
Tauride Palace, 218; regarded as 
doubtful on June 10, 404; in October, 
603, 625 

Lloyd George, 261, 302 

Lomov: member of first Soviet Govern- 
ment, 655 

Luga, 511, 622 

Lunacharsky, A. V., 81 n., 350, 353, 
359, 372, 374-376, 377, 379, 381, 
384, 392, 394, 4*9, 420, 421, 433, 
439, 445, 452, 453, 460, 464, 467- 
468, 471, 478-479, 48o, 481, 486, 491, 
500, 502, 504, 513, 562, 576, 630, 
636, 646, 665, 666; leads Kron- 

stadters to Tauride Palace, 440-443; 
arrested, 489; People's Commissar 
for Popular Education in first Soviet 
Government, 655 

Lvov, G. E., Prince, 117, 118, 152, 248, 
?93, 300, 335, 338, 432; Premier 
in Provisional and First Coalition 
Governments, 145, 175, 309, 364, 
403, 453, 456, 457, 470; 'appointed' 
Premier by Tsar, 172; confers with 
Grand Duke Michael, 176; in 'Left 
Seven' group, 249; receives peasants' 
and soldiers' delegations, 327-328; 
negotiates with Ex. Com. on question 
of Coalition, 336, 337; resignation of, 
473, 474, 476 

Lvov, V. N., 35, 117, 152, 338; in 
'Left Seven' group, 249 

MacDonald, R., 367 

Machine-gun Regiments: expected to 

aid revolt on June 10, 404; in July 

Days, 428, 429, 442 
, ist: adheres to Bolsheviks, 372, 

389? 419; decides to take part in 

Bolshevik demonstration, 391 
Maklakov, 509 
Malachite Hall (of Winter Palace), 612, 


Malinovsky, R. V., 296-297 
Malyantovich, 604 
'Mamelukes', 228, 243, 260, 313, 366, 

380, 424, 441, 452, 454, 455, 471, 

475, 477, 496, 505 
Mandates Commission, 84, 86, 223, 


Mandelberg, Dr., 585 
Manifesto to the Peoples of the World, 

197, 203, 205-207, 216-217, 222, 235, 

240, 241, 242, 254, 281 
Manikovsky, 622 
Manufacturers' Association: agrees to 

new working conditions in factories, 

Manukhin, 1. 1., Dr., 95, 177, 189, 204, 

375, 437, 367, 378; prison doctor at 

Peter-Paul Fortress, 407, 408-411, 

Marian Palace, 158, 217-218, 585; 

seat of Provisional Government, 200, 

213, 216, 224, 234, 247, 249, 251, 

252, 288, 300, 309, 310, 315, 317, 

322, 327, 335, 359, 403, 406, 424, 

428, 432, 493, 541, 547; Pre-Parlia- 

ment meets in, 535, 537, 538, 540, 

597, 610, 624, 625, 627 
Marseillaise, 142, 218, 219, 222, 272, 

274, 295, 455 
Martov, J. O., 82, 250, 

352-356, 374, 376, 379, $3, 393? 

82, 256, 278, 305, 322, 

399, 4, 4 OI 424, 434? 448? 452> 
455, 48o, 490, 5^9, 534, 656; warns 
against Allied parliamentary Social- 
ists, 261; obliged to travel through 
Germany to reach Russia, 271, 351; 
arrives in Petersburg, 350, 351; 
opposes Coalition, 352; leader of 
Menshevik-Internationalists, 356- 
358, 378, 460, 478, 49 1 , 523, 524, 530, 
53i, 532, 543, 563, 567, 574, 595, 607, 
608, 609, 6 10, 615, 6 1 6, 623, 634; 
speaks in Pre-Parliament, 596-597, 
610-611, 612; at Second Congress 
of Soviets, 636, 637, 638, 639, 640, 
644, 645, 646 

Martynov, 531, 631, 633 

Marx, Karl, 291, 292, 569, 592, 630, 

Marxism, Marxists, 102, 201, 258 n., 
283, 284, 285, 286, 287, 289, 291, 292, 
321, 322 n., 323, 324, 379, 426, 473, 
526, 530, 553, 568, 575, 660, 66 1 

Maximalists: see ANARCHISTS 

Mekhonoshin, 562, 620 

Mensheviks, Menshevism, 7 n., 15, 
Son., 57, 58, 60, 81, 82, 102 n., 151, 
1 68, 229 n., 230 n., 231 n., 245, 
269 n., 288 n., 322, 323, 336, 338 n., 
354 n., 359, 373, 381, 395, 396, 397, 
405, 411, 412, 454, 473, 474, 481 n., 
487, 489, 490, 492, 496, 497, 504, 508, 
523, 524, 525, 530, 531, 532, 535, 538, 
542, 543, 555, 559, 560, 561, 562, 563, 
567, 581, 59, 598, 608, 6 10, 612, 626, 
630, 631, 632, 633, 636, 637, 638, 640, 
644, 648, 654, 663; Petersburg meet- 
ing of on war question, 252 ; obliged 
to travel via Germany to reach 
Russia, 271 ; joint meeting with other 
Social-Democrats, 285-288 ; and 
Coalition Government, 348-352, 356, 
358; All-Russian Conference of, 350, 
35 * -352, 356; split in, 356-358, 490, 
526; at Congress of Soviets, 378-379; 
Provincial Conference of, 470 

, Central Committee of, 256 n., 356, 

357, 473, 634 
Menshevik-Internationalists, 82, 165, 

323, 357, 358, 373, 378-379, 424, 46o, 
478, 486, 490, 491, 523-524, 530, 535, 
541, 542, 543, 563, 573, 574, 585, 595, 
598, 606-607, 608, 61 1, 612, 631, 
633-634, 636, 640, 644, 645, 646 
Merezhkovsky, D. S., 189, 290 
Michael, Grand Duke: proposed as Re- 
4 gent after Tsar's abdication, 121, 147, 
152, 159; is refused special train, 
136; named by Tsar as his successor, 
1 59, 1 73 ; supported by Miliukov and 
Guchkov, 1 741 75 ; refuses to succeed 
Nicholas, 176 

INDEX 679 

Michael Artillery School: adheres to 
Bolsheviks, 389; expected to aid re- 
volt on June 10, 404 

Michael Castle, 416 

Michael Theatre: used for sessions of 
Soviet, 216; too small for Soviet, 224 

Mikhailov: attacked as provocateur, 296 

Military Academy, 396, 411; arrested 
Anarchists in, 387; Congress of 
Soviets meets in, 392, 406, 407 

Military Commander of Petersburg 

Military Commission, 40, 47, 57, 58, 60, 
62, 71, 72-73, 75, 87, 93, i*4> !3; in 
right wing of Tauride Palace, 50, 65 ; 
sends troops to storm Admiralty, 66 ; 
Colonel Engelhardt becomes head of, 

Military Revolutionary Committee, 
504, 505, 506, 507, 5i3, 517, 560, 561, 
562, 564, 567, 582, 583, 586, 588, 589, 
59 *, 595, 597-599, 602, 603, 604, 605, 
614, 615, 620, 621, 622, 623, 627, 639, 
641, 645, 649, 651, 652, 653, 656, 666 

Military Revolutionary Committees, 
Local, 522 

Militia, 475, 561, 60 1, 604, 651; for 
defence of Petersburg, 58, 62-63, 72 ; 
keeping order, 98, 159-160, 181; in 
Durnovo Villa, 388 

Miliukov, P. N., 4, 35, 37, 65, 68, 78, 
in, 157, 173, 177,214,217,241,252, 
293, 3!0, 3" 3i9, 33*> 345, 34 6 , 362, 
364, 369, 381, 498, 501, 512, 514, 578, 
590, 606, 626; at Tauride Palace, 48- 
49; discusses revolution, 53-57; 
announces that Provisional Govern- 
ment is 'taking power', 68-69; 
'Guchkov-Miliukov Government', 
76, 85, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 295, 
313; at conference with Ex. Com., 
117126; defends monarchy, 121, 
146-147; revises Ex. Com. proclam- 
ation, 132-133; speaks in Catherine 
Hall on Provisional Government, 
1441^.8; discusses programme of 
Provisional Government with Su- 
khanov and Steklov, 152-157; sup- 
ports Michael as Tsar's successor, 
1 74-1 76 ; sends message on revolution 
to other countries, 184; refuses Ex. 
Com.'s demand for document on war 
aims, 248; opposition to in first re- 
volutionary Cabinet, 249, 250; dis- 
cusses Lenin with Sukhanov and 
Skobelev, 288-289; talks with Su- 
khanov on general situation, 300- 
303; meets Thomas at station, 309; 
and Provisional Government's Note 
to Allies, 310, 314-315, 316; demon- 
strations against, and for, 316, 317, 

680 INDEX 

318; not in Coalition Government, 

336, 337. 338-339 , 

Miliutin: Minister of Agriculture in 
First Soviet Government, 655 

Milliony Street, 643 

Minister of Justice: (Dobrovolsky) 
arrested, 97; Kerensky as, 145, 149, 
2 95, 363; (Pereverzev) orders An- 
archists to leave Durnovo villa, 386- 
387, 454; Zarudny as, 489; Maly- 
antovich as, 604; Lomov as, 655 

Minister of Supply, 16 

Minister of War, 622 

Ministry of Agriculture, Turkestan 
section, 3, 16, 34, 98 

Minsk, 667 

Mogilev, 198, 201, 667 

Moika, 624 

Mokhovoy Street, 496 

Molotov (Scriabin), 130; member of 
Ex. Com., 80; introduced to Ex. 
Com. by Shlyapnikov, 108; argues 
that power should be in hands of the 
people, 191 

Monarchy, 100, in, 121, 123,124, 138, 
144, 149, 153, 158, 159, 173, 174-175, 
178, 214; Miliukov in favour of re- 
taining, 121, 146-148; last effort to 
preserve, 152 

Monetny Street, 17 

Morskoy Street, 627 

Moscow, 305, 486, 489, 492, 494, 500, 
515, 556, 576, 590* 635, 667; joins the 
revolution, 95 ; Kerensky in, 199, 374; 
Populist-Socialist Conference in, 252 ; 
Soldiers 5 Soviet passes resolution 
against Lenin, 298; disorders in 
caused by Miliukov Note to the Allies, 
317; Mensheviks in, 349; Sukhanov 
in Taganka, 354, 410; proposed trans- 
fer of Government to, 515, 539, 548 

Conference, 492, 493~495> 5OO> 5*4 
5i5> 523 527 

insurrection of 1905, 16, 43, 45, 63 

Regiment : threatens to arrest Pro- 
visional Government, 517; follows 
Bolsheviks, 389; expected to aid 
revolt on June i o, 404; in October, 582 

Soviet, 193, 369, 486, 576; Ex. Com. 
of proclaims freedom of the press, 
208 ; calls for calm in April Days, 317; 
Workers* Section of filling up with 
Bolsheviks, 373; passes Bolshevik 
resolution, 515 

Moutet, 261, 366 
Mtsensk, 368 
Muslims, 512 

Nabokov, 626; Principal Secretary of 
Provisional Government, 300 

Nationalists, 535 
Naval Academy : 

used for Soviet 

sessions, 224, 337 

Nekrasov, N. V., 113, n 6, 312; at con- 
ference with Ex. Com., 117-126; 
disavows Miliukov's foreign policy 
statement, 248 ; in 'Left Seven' group, 
249; Minister of Finance in third 
Coalition, 488 

Neva river, 23, 415, 615, 652 

Neva embankment, 246 

Nevka Factory, 358 

Nevsky, 562 

Nevsky Prospect, 6, 22-23, 25, 26, 224, 
299> 3^, 318, 320, 370, 404, 430, 431, 
433, 442, 464, 609, 624, 627 

Nicholas II, 8, 78, 101, 110, 251, 586, 
587, 652 ; dissolves Duma, 34, 37; por- 
trait of torn down, 74, 99, 1 93 ; arrest 
of ordered by Ex. Com., 97 n.; his 
train detained at Dno, 100; sends for 
Rodzianko, 109; abdication of, ni- 
112, 122, 126, 134, 135, 158-159, 
172-176, 177; moves to Pskov, 112, 
125; is not allowed to leave for Eng- 
land, 198-200; sent to Tsarskoe-Selo, 
20 1 ; his rooms in Winter Palace, 641. 
See also TSAR 

Nicholas Bridge, 613 

Nicholas Embankment, 441, 451 

Nicholas Station, 468, 475, 499, 502; 
occupied by Tsarist troops, 66 

Nikitin, 508, 605 

Nikitsky, A. A. ; assistant Civil Governor 
of Petersburg, 112-113, 134, 170, 171, 
43 7 j 439 507; talks of situation in 
Petersburg, 182-184 

Nogin, 486; member of First Soviet 
Government, 655 

Novaya Zhizn, 168, 169, 339, 340, 360, 

665; in preparation, 224, 253, 
302-303; in publication, 313; in 
April Days, 317; prints Rizov's letter 
to Gorky, 365; conference of editors 
with Lunacharsky, Ryazanov and 
Trotsky, 376-377; offices seized in 
July Days, 459; shut down, 515-519 

Obukhovsky Works, 578 

October Revolution, 6, 7 n., i2n., 
14 n., 47, 59 n., 78 n., 88 n., 97 n., 
108, ii3n., 146 n., 168, 223, 226, 
229, 231 n., 256 n., 258 n., 288 n., 
296 n., 305 n., 322 n., 350 n., 352, 
356, 37i n., 375, 392 n., 461, 469 n., 
488 n., 505, 508 n., 547-668 

Octobrists, 12 n., 69, 123, 379, 535 



Odessa, 362; hunger riots in, 533 

Officers, 19 and passim; take no active 
steps against crowds, 15; at Military 
Commission, 71, 72, 91, 114; return- 
ing to their regiments, 75, 87, 88; 
oner to 'restore order*, 183; soldiers 
demand election of, 204-205; Keren- 
sky promises reforms in appointment 
of, 205; join SRs, 347; enthusiastic 
for continuance of war, 363; attacks 
on, 368; Congress of demands Lenin's 
arrest, 371; at Congress of Soviets, 
379, 381; Bolshevik, in i8oth Regi- 
ment, 404 

O'Grady, 309; member of British 
delegation, 261 ; speaks to Ex. Com., 
262 ; speaks to Conference of Soviets, 

Okhta, 182 

Oldenburg; Minister of Education in 
third Coalition, 489 

Old Nevsky, 134, 181, 437 

Oranienbaum, 015 

Order No. i : see PROCLAMATIONS 

Orel : hunger riots in, 533 

Organization of National Economy and 
Labour, Committee for: proposed by 
Grohman, 186 

Over-forties : demonstrate, 370, 391, 431 

Palace Bridge, 605 

Palace Square, 463, 468, 481, 627; 
proposed site of graves of 'victims of 
the revolution', 193-194, 197, 209, 

Palchinsky, 515, 516, 517, 519, 640, 641, 

Pankov : elected to Praesidium of Soviet, 
60; member of Ex. Com., 79, 82 

Pankratov, 457, 458 

Paris, 225, 278, 339, 353, 354, 606 

Commune, 570 

Patronny plant, 529 

Pavlovich (Krasikov) : member of Ex. 
Com., 79 

Pavlovsk, 513, 615 

Pavlovsky Academy, 619 

Pavlovsky Regiment: joins the revolu- 
tion, 28, 29, 36; represented at first 
meeting of Soviet, 61; marches to 
Tauride Palace, 218; adheres to 
Bolsheviks, 389; in October, 582, 595 

Peace, 9, 11, 109, 202, 206, 249, 254, 
264-265, 314, 317, 364, 381, 390, 402, 
4i5> 479, 54<>> 57<>, 575, 577* 583, 006, 
609, 610, 61 1, 613, 616, 623, 636, 656, 
657, 658, 664; policy, 9, 245, 254, 
281, 381, 497, 560; struggle for, 188, 

222, 240, 242, 243, 244, 253, 257, 340, 

352; appeal to peoples of Europe to 

strive for, 217; Bolshevik view of in 
March, 227; Land, Bread and, 264- 
265, 327, 396, 422, 456, 549, 552, 
558, 585, 659; 'separate*, 271, 338, 

360, 365, 370, 391, 458; Coalition 
Government's statement on, 360- 

361, 362; soldiers* attitude to, 369- 


Peasants, 19, 102, 106, 193, 202/223, 
254, 283, 284, 291, 300, 321, 332, 333, 
338, 381, 383, 402, 4*6, 422, 435, 43^, 
437, 45 i* 456, 485* 495, 522, 5*3, 54> 
54i, 549, 555, 55^, 5^6, 570, 574, S7 6 > 
585, 617, 623, 628, 629, 631, 632, 639, 
646, 654, 656, 657, 660, 661, 662; and 
land, 185, 213, 264, 300, 308-309, 
327, 368, 426, 533, 552, 555, 570; in 
uniform, 19, 201-203, 220, 221, 232, 
233, 347, 437; greedy for land, 201- 
202; adhere to revolution, 213; add- 
ress Soviet or its sections, 236-237; 
dominated by SRs, 321, 346-347, 
426; All-Russian Congress of, 321, 
327, 371; send deputation to Pro- 
visional Government, 327-329; Cen- 
tral Ex. Com. of, 426, 427, 434, 443, 
478, 6 1 6, 638, 659; Soviets of Peas- 
ants' Deputies, 659 

People's House, 258-259; 327, 419, 583 

Pereverzev: Minister of Justice in Co- 
alition Government, 339, 404 

Peshekhonov, A. V., 16, 107, 383, 393, 
406, 586; elected to Literary Com- 
mission, 64; member of Ex. Com., 
81; Minister of Supply in Coalition 
Governments, 339, 340, 488; speaks 
at Congress of Soviets, 382 

Peski, 98, 159, 262 
'eterhof, 404, 593 

14, 146 n., 
282, 451, 469, 598, 600, 626, 643, 6; 

Peterhof, 404, 593 
Peter-Paul Fortress, 26, 44, i 


firing from, 42 ; falls to revolution, 66, 
75, 95 J garrison ready to aid revolt 
on June 10, 404; Tsarist prisoners in, 
407, 409; Sukhanov visits, 407-411; 
seizecf by Kronstadters, 462-464; 
supports Bolsheviks in October, 595- 

Petersburg garrison, 36, 60, 191, 193, 
240, 260, 293, 368, 389, 392, 393, 441, 
475, 498, 506, 513, 529, 558, 561, 577, 
580-583, 587, 588, 589, 590, 59i, 592, 
593, 597, 598, 003, 604, 608-609, 615, 
621-622, 623, 627, 646, 651 

Petersburg Side, 23, 26, 40, 73, 107, 
275, 276, 341, 404, 500, 533, 58i,~6ao, 

Petersburg Soviet: see SOVIET OF 


Petersburg Soviet of 1905, 38 n., 59, 
85, 58 

682 INDEX 

Petersburg Town Council, 5, 181, 433, 
437, 576, 58? 638, 640, 664; meets 
to consider supply problem, 13; and 
restoration of tramway-service, 170, 
1 72 ; elections to, 496-497 

Petrogradsky Regiment: marches to 
Tauride Palace, 218; regarded as 
doubtful on June 10, 404 

Petrbv (Zalutsky) 108, 112; member of 
Ex. Com., 79 

Philippovsky : member of Liaison Com- 
mission, 247; chairman of Military 
Revolutionary Committee, 517 

Platten: refused entry to Russia, 309- 

Plekhanov, G. V., 278, 322 n., 324, 
353, 354, 356; welcomed to Peters- 
burg, 258, 259; takes little part in 
events, 260; speaks to Conference of 
Soviets, 262-263, 265 

Podvoisky, 562, 603, 620, 649, 650 

Police, 17, 22, 46, 112, 178, 183, 318, 
478, 486, 649, 653, 66 1 ; disperse 
meetings, etc., 6, 26 ; impotent against 
revolution, 15; vanish from the 
streets, 16, 26; cordon off streets, 17; 
increasing demoralization of, 19; fire 
on crowd, 29; under arrest, 57, 64, 
87, 97; leading counter-revolutionary 
mobs, 57-58; firing from houses, 78; 
abolition of accepted by Miliukov, 
122; Soviets perform duties of, 387, 
388; troops act as, 622 

Polkovnikov, 589, 590, 591, 592-593, 
60 1, 602 

Poltava, 543 

Populists, 14 n., 16 n., 17, 81, 135, 285, 
306, 321, 322, 323, 358, 379; support 
demand for Coalition Government, 

^ 329, 335 . ,. 

Populist-Socialists, 213, 321 ; conference 

of in Moscow, 252 
Potemkin Garden, 440 
Potresov (Starover), A. N., 102, 354 n. 
Potyomkin Street, 95 
Praesidium: of Central Ex. Com., 433, 

434, 445, 453, 618 t 
: of Conference of Soviets, 256 
: of Congress of Soviets, 391, 392, 


: of Petersburg Soviet, 59, 71, 87, 240, 
245, 259, 334, 337, 407, 499, 528, 560, 
629; elections to, 60; included in Ex. 
Com., 71, 79; sent to meet Lenin, 
265, 270; negotiates with Marian 
Palace on Coalition, 335; usurps 
functions of Ex. Com., 359 
: of Pre-Parliament, 613 
: of Second Congress of Soviets, 636, 

638, 659, 665 
: of Soldiers' Section, 372, 560 


Praetorian Guard, 371, 372, 379, 400, 
468, 528 

Pravda, 197, 207, 324, 402, 439, 462, 
471, 525; unsatisfactory character of 
in March, 224, 226; reorganized by 
Kamenev, 227, 285; prints Lenin's 
First Theses, 289; opposes coalition, 
33 1 ; offices of wrecked, 454-455, 

Preobrazhensky Regiment; adheres to 
revolution, 68-69; expected to sup- 
port Coalition Government on June 
10, 404; in July Days, 436-437, 455 

Pre-Parliament, 532, 534, 535-544, 555, 
55 6 , 5^5, 578, 5^5, 594, 596, 597, 604, 
605, 607, 6 10, 612, 613, 615, 624, 625, 
626, 627, 633 

Press, 1 6, 70, 3*7, 3*8, 437, 443, 459, 
477, 47^ s 487, 493, 495, 49^, 49$, 499, 
, 5i6, 518, 523, 525, 527, 534, 537, 
, 55i, 563, 569, 573, 574, 578, 590, 
93, 599, 602, 603, 608, 615, 628, 648, 
649, 650, 66 1 ; attacks Soviet leaders, 
79-80; immobilized, 86; attacks 
( Order No. i', 114; Ex. Com. Com- 
mission for licensing, 1 64 ; prints list of 
Secret Police agents, 197; hails the 
revolution, 198; Ex. Com. debates 
freedom of, 207-208 ; reports prepara- 
tions for offensive, 215; chauvinism of 
Tsarist, 221, 222; praises funeral of 
victims of the revolution, 246; attacks 
Lenin and others for travelling via 
Germany, 271, 297; reports Social- 
Democratic joint meeting, 287; 
* worker and soldier' question in, 294; 
question of dual power in, 295; 
violent attacks of on Soviet person- 
alities, 296-298; prints Miliakov's 
Note to the Allies, 316; supports de- 
mand for Coalition, 329, 358; opposes 
Coalition, 331; supports continuance 
of war, 361; attacks Bolsheviks and 
Gorky, 296-299, 365; reports many 
disorders, 368; and 'official Soviet' 
demonstration, 418-419; and Lenin's 
relations with German General Staff, 
453, 457~459, 46*; at Moscow 
Conference, 494. See also under 
names of various newspapers. 

Gallery (Duma) : used for first session 
of Ex. Com., 72 

Licensing Commission of Ex. Com., 
164, 169 

Proclamations: of General Khabalov, 
6, 1 6, 25 ; of Soviet to people of Peters- 
burg, 63, 67, 68; of Provisional Com- 
mittee of the Duma, 85, 100, 124; of 
Ex. Com., 100, 124, 128, 130, 131, 
132, 133; 'Order No. i', 113-114, 
128, 140, 204; of Interdistrictites 

and SRs demanding working-class 
Government, i 28- i 30 ; of Provisional 
Government, 150, 155, 156-157, 164; 
Gorky's appeal for preservation of 
artistic treasures, 208-209; of Pro- 
visional Government on war aims, 
249-253, 310, 314; of Ex. Com. to 
workers and soldiers in April, 319; of 
Provisional Government on recon- 
struction of Government, 329; of 
Bolsheviks calling for demonstration, 
390~39 1 ; of Congress ojf Soviets, 393; 
of Central Ex. Com. in July Days, 
459-4,60; of Central Ex. Com. in 
relation to Komilov revolt, 506; of 
Kornilov to commanders at front, 
510; of Military Revolutionary Com- 
mittee, 603, 623, 652, 653 ; of Second 
Congress of Soviets, 646-647; of 
Soviet Government to peoples of the 
world, 656-658 

Procurator, 387-388, 407 

Progressive Bloc, 4, 7, 29, 38, 53, 56, 57, 
85, no, H7n., 122, 174; forms Pro- 
visional Committee of the Duma, 35 

Progressive Party, 51, 53 

Prokopovich : Minister of Industry and 
Commerce in third Coalition, 489 

Proletariat, n, 12, 19, 20, 102, 191, 
196, 203, 212, 229, 241, 253, 264, 265, 
29i> 307, 32i s 323. 33 1 * 332, 340, 349> 
352, 358, 380, 383, 384, 4oo ? 4 1 !> 422, 
446, 450, 469, 478, 492, 496, 498, 513, 
515. 5i6, 526, 530, 541, 542, 555, 570, 
572, 57ft> 579> 629, 630, 650, 660, 

664, 668; dictatorship of, 9, 10, 106, 
283, 284, 332, 421 ; of Petersburg, 12, 
62, 191, 192, 193, 240, 260, 293, 345, 
373, 388, 389, 390* 399> 421, 44^ 497> 
5*5* 55.8, 615, 623, 635, 648; of other 
countries, 178, 217, 263, 264, 630, 

D 6 ; 57 - 
Proletam, 525 

Promyot Factory, 427, 430 

Propaganda Commission of Ex. Com. 
164, 165, 1 68 

Protopopov, 78, 88 n. ; under arrest, 
97, 99; in Peter-Paul Fortress, 410 

Provisional Committee of the Duma, 
36, 49> 53> 56, 57, 68, 69, 75, 84, 100, 
101, 107, no, iii, 112, 130, 131, 132, 
*55> *59> *745 elected, 34; no thought 
of taking power, 35, 38; in right wing 
of Tauride Palace, 50, 100; talks with 
Prince Golitsyn, 51; urges troops to 
obey officers, 76-77; has no real 
power, 85-86; proclamations of, 85, 
ipo, 124; holds conference on Pro- 
visional Government with Ex. Com., 
113; tactless dealings of with troops, 

INDEX 683 

Provisional Ex. Com. of Soviet, 58; 
formed to convene Soviet, 39; organ- 
izes supplies for troops, 39, 49; forms 
military organization, 40 

Provisional Government, 48, 50, 68-69, 
76, 85, 101, 102, 103, 105, 106, 107, 
ii3n., 131, 149, 170, 172, 207, 218, 
219, 220, 240, 244, 245, 255, 258, 295, 
312, 314, 329, 336, 337, 338, 550; 
conference of Duma Committee and 
Ex. Com. on, 114, 116-126; debated 
in Soviet, 136-144; programme of, 
150-157, 179; discusses abdication, 
174-176; relations with Ex. Com. 
and Soviet, 170, 187-191, 215, 312, 
313; agrees to allow Tsar to leave 
Russia, 198-199; yields to Ex. Com., 
201; asked to reorganize appoint- 
ment of officers, 205 ; continues war 
policy of Tsarism, 217; military de- 
legations to, 234; discusses war aims 
with Liaison Commission, 247-248, 
249-251; split in Cabinet, 248, 249; 
'Left Seven' group in, 249, 250; pro- 
clamation of on war aims, 249-253 ; 
peaceful compromise with, 254; 
Lenin speaks of, 282 ; opposes Lenin, 
300, 302; more and more dependent 
on Soviet, 308; inactivity of in 
agrarian affairs, 308-309; refuses 
Flatten entry to Russia, 309-312; 
Note to Allies of, 310, 314-315; 
demonstrations for and against, 315- 
319; completely powerless, 326-327, 
328; and coalition, 329, 330, 335; 
liquidation of inevitable, 331. See 


Provocation, Provocateurs, 5, 13, 98, 131, 
178, 196, 296, 298, 314, 318, 388, 427, 
446, 512, 516, 616; German, 12, 475; 
Bolsheviks accused of, 296-297, 299 

Pskov, 112, 125, 152, 153, 158-159, 172, 
177, 178, 198, 5^3 

Pulkov, 667 

Putilov Works, 449-450, 451, 469, 513, 
578, 652 

Rabochaya Gazeta ; opposes Coalition, 

53 1 

Rabochii, 516, 517, 525; shut down, 515 

RabochiiPut,^^ 551, 552, 554, 569, 571, 
606; shut down in October, 601-602 

Rafes : member of Ex. Com., 80 

Raimondo, O., 366 

Raskomikov 275, 441, 444, 445, 447, 
448, 451, 462, 463, 464, 465-467, 486 

Rasputin, 4, 7, 29, 54, 102, 364, 532 

Rech, 364, 368, 387, 487, 498, 514, 535, 
593 j 650; attacks Sukhanov as pro- 
German, 365 

684 INDEX 

Red Army, 604, 605, 667 

Red Guard, 486, 513, 559, _ 

Reserve Regiment: ist, adheres to Bol- 
sheviks, 389; expected to aid revolt 
on June 10, 404 

, 9th Cavalry, expected to support 
Government on June 10, 404 

, 3rd, expected to aid revolt on June 
10, 404 

, i76th, 404, 448-449 

Reval: Germans threatening, 537 

Revolution of 1905, 193, 528 

Ribot, 261, 302, 364, 596 

Rifle Regiment; 3rd, marches to 
Tauride Palace, 218 

Riga, 362, 512, 515, 523: surrendered 
to Germans by Kornilov, 503 

Rizov, D. : asks Gorky to negotiate for 
separate peace, 365 

Rodzianko, M. V., 35, 36, 50, 52, 88, 
152, 154, 155, 175, 220, 234, 288, 295, 
372, 498, 501, 573, 575; talks with 
Prince Golitsyn, 51, 67; invited to 
see Tsar, 108-112; sends for Chk- 
heidze, in; at conference with Ex. 
Com., 117-126; speaks to Tsar's 
headquarters, 125-126, 159; negoti- 
ations with Tsar, 135; confers with 
Grand Duke Michael, 176; greets 
marching regiments, 219; speaks to 
demonstration of war-wounded, 299 

Romanovs, 100, in, 121-122, 146, 147, 
148, 152, 153, 154, 175, 193, 198, 199, 
200, 211, 498; liquidation of, zoo, 
129, 164, 172 

Roshal, 441, 444, 447, 448, 451, 462, 
463, 464, 465-467; arrested, 486 

Rusanov, N. S.: member of Ex. Com., 

Russkaya Volyai printing plant of seized 
by Anarchists, 386 

Russkoe Slovoi prints rumour of German 
revolution, 151 

Russo-Japanese war of 1905, 8 

Ruzsky, General, 126, 159 

Ryazanov (Goldendach), D. K., 81 n., 


ment, 655 
Rzhevsky, V. A., 51 

Sadovoy Street, 416, 419, 430, 442, 581 
Sailors, 108, 109, 178, 179, 273, 325, 

5i7> 548, 549, 553. 559> 57, 584, 595> 
604, 614, 617, 621, 624, 625, 626, 627, 
634, 641, 643, 649, 650, 652, 667; 
adhere to revolution, 178-179; send 
representatives to Soviet, 237; pass 
resolution against Lenin, 298; at pro* 

war meetings, 361 ; in July Days, 441, 

442, 4^6, 455, 464, 465; Central 

Committee of Fleet, 508; .occupy 

Telegraph Agency, 614 
St. George, Crosses of: brought to 

Soviet, 237; flung at Kerensky's feet, 

Samara, 667 
Sampson Bridge, 275 
Sanders: member of British delegation, 

Sappers, 603 ; represented at first meet- 

ing of Soviet, 6 1 

Savage Division, 511, 512, 519, 520 
Savinkov, B. V., 508, 513; member of 

third Coalition Government, 488; 

resigns, 493; appointed Governor- 

General of Petersburg, 509 
Scheidemann, 573 
Schliisselburg Fortress, 457 
'Sealed train', 270, 271-272, 281, 309, 

351, 539 

Sebastopol, 362, 363 

Secretarial Commission of Ex. Com., 
164, 165-166 

Secret Police, 5, 31 n., 129, 296 n., 
297, 410, 459, 562; 'shadows', 31, 43; 
headquarters, 46, 48; under arrest, 
57, 87, 184; leading counter-revolu- 
tionary mobs, 57; firing from houses, 
78; abolished, 95; Gorky discovers 
list of agents of, 196 

Semashko, 2nd Lieutenant, 372; ap- 
pointed Commander-in-Chief of in- 
surrectionary forces of June 10, 404 

Semkovsky, 531 

Semyonovsky Regiment: adheres to 
revolution, 63; marches to Tauride 
Palace, 218; expected to support 
Government on June 10, 404; 'loyal' 
in July Days, 442, 455; in October, 

Sergiyevsky Street, 10, 16, 17, 22, 95 

Shatrov (Sokolovsky) : see SOKOLOVSKY 

Shcheglovitov, I. G., 51; details of 
arrest of, 52 

Shidlovsky, 117 

Shingarev, A. I. : member of first Pro- 
visional Government, 146, 300 

Shlyapnikov, 43, 44, 59, 134, 211, 224, 
272, 274, 428; elected to Ex. Com., 
71, 79; introduces Molotov into Ex. 
Com., 1 08; member of Propaganda 
Labour in 

Shpalerny Street, 23, 444, 448, 532, 

Shulgin, V. V., 35, 117, 174, 177; 
travels to Pskov to obtain Tsar's 
abdication, 152, 172, 177, 178 

on, 165, 168; Minister of 
first Soviet Government, 

Siberia, 240, 241, 256, 434; Kamenev 
returns from, 225; Tsereteli returns 
from, 231; Breshkovskaya returns 
from, 256; 'Siberian Zimmerwald- 
ism*, 252, 257 

Skobelev, M. I., 30, 37, 58, 169, 190, 
222, 251, 335, 4*7, 4 6 8, 473, 56, 596, 
618; member of Provisional Ex. 
Com. of Soviet, 40; member of 
Praesidium of Soviet, 60, 265, 359; 
member of Ex. Com., 79; position in 
Ex. Com., 82; sent to Baltic Fleet, 
179; forms part of *Swamp% 229; 
one of 'new majority' in Ex. Com., 
245; member of Liaison Com- 
mission, 247; meets Lenin on his 
arrival, 269-274; discusses Lenin with 
Miliukov, 288; speaks to demon- 
stration of war-wounded, 299; per- 
suades demonstrating regiments to 
disperse, 317; Minister of Labour in 
Coalition Governments, 337, 339, 

Sjsvortsov: member of first Soviet 
Government, 655 

Slogans and formulas, 14, 219, 235, 239, 
245, 270, 295, 297, 402, 403, 415, 417, 
422, 423, 424, 444, 524, 526; Bread, 
4; Down with the Autocracy, 4, ir ; 
War to the End (to Total Victory), 4, 
5, 12, 102, 218, 235, 240, 247, 295, 
299, 361 ; Down with the War, 1 1, 12, 
19, 20, 222, 317, 391; Constituent 
Assembly, n, 402; Ministry respon- 
sible to the Duma, 13; Loyalty to our 
Gallant Allies, 102; the Land for the 
Peasants, 185, 213; Land and Free- 
dom, 218, 347, 363; Soldiers to the 
Trenches, Workers to the Benches, 
218, 220; Peace, 240, 416, 540; No 
Annexations or Indemnities, 241, 
245, 360, 361, 402; Peace, Land and 
Bread, " 

INDEX 685 

Smolny, 23, 492, 498-499, 5, 5i, 
502, 503, 508, 509, 513, 516, 517, 519, 
520, 529, 530, 531, 534, 535, 537, 539, 
543, 547, 555, 5^3, 5^5, 577, 578, 581, 
586, 587, 588, 589, 590, 591, 592, 594, 
596, 597, 599, 60 1, 602, 604, 606, 607, 
614, 615, 616, 619, 622, 623, 625, 626, 
627, 630, 631, 633, 640, 643, 644, 645, 
8, 651, 652, 653, 658, 662, 663, 

, 264-265, 327, 396, 422, 456, 
549, 552, 558, 585; (AH) Power to the 
Soviets, 283, 300, 320, 338, 358, 380, 
381, 384, 390, 402, 403, 416, 417, 422, 
423, 429, 450, 481, 491, 523, 550, 540, 
547, 550, 558, 57i, 573, 577-5B2, 649; 
anti-Soviet, 295; Down with Lenin, 
297, 299; Down with the Provisional 
Government, 316; Down with Miliu- 
kov, 316, 317; Workers* Control, 
373; Down with the Tsarist Duma, 
390; Down with the Ten Capitalist 
Ministers, 390, 416, 417, 429, 481; 
Bread, Peace, Freedom, 391; A 
Revolutionary Dictatorship of the 
Workers and Peasants, 491 ; All Land 
to the People, 540; Long Live the 
Constituent Assembly, 540 
Smilga, 604 

Snowden, Philip, 363 

Social-Democracy, Social-Democrats, 
4n. } 7n., 15 n., 38 n., 81, 82, 221, 
252, 256 n., 269, 283, 284, 285, 291, 
322 n., 323, 349, 351, 354, 457 n., 
489, 540 ; Second Duma exiles brought 
back from Siberia, 142, 231; joint 
meeting of all, 285-288; oppose 
Coalition, 331, 332, 335 

Socialism, Socialists, 8, 9, 10, u, 13, 20, 
21, 24, 33, 83, 101, 104, 168, 191, 198, 
224, 237, 257, 261, 263, 271, 284, 289, 

293, 307, 309, 323 33i, 332, 347, 349, 
366, 367, 376, 379, 421, 425, 554, 555, 
57i, 572, 585, 026, 628, 629, 630, 635, 
639, 649, 657, 660, 66 1 ; of other 
countries, n, 19, 261, 284, 366, 367, 
368; world-wide Socialist revolution, 
103, 104, 227, 257, 273, 274, 281, 282, 
284, 647, 657; Socialist Ministers, 
33i, 396, 441, 444, 476, 626, 645, 656 

Social-patriotism, Social-patriots, 206, 
264, 281, 457 n. 

Social-traitors, 324, 340, 441, 560 

Sokolov, N, D., 10, 13, 16, 17, 27, 58, 
101, 116, 125, 150, 169, 531; meeting 
of representatives of Left wing at 
flat of, 17-21; leads regiments to 
Duma, 37; elected to Praesidium of 
Soviet, 60; elected to Literary Com- 
mission, 64; argues for temporary 
suppression of press, 70; member of 
Ex. Com., 79; joins Menshevik group 
in Ex. Com., 82; composes 'Order 
No. i j , 113-114; at conference with 
Duma Committee, 117-126; writes 
Ex. Com. proclamation, 127, 128, 
^o, *3i ?32; raises question of 
funeral of victims of the revolution, 
1 93- r 94 ; receives military delegations 
on behalf of Ex. Com., 234 

Sokolovsky, 53 1 ; member of Ex. Com., 

Soldat, 60 1 

Soldiers, 16 said passim; fail to restrain 
disorders, 15; cordon off streets and 
bridges, 17, 25; increasing demoral- 
ization of, 19, 34; fire on demon- 
strations, 22; join revolutionary 
crowds, 26, 40-41, 42; mutiny, 36- 
37; clashes between 'loyal' and 

686 INDEX 

revolutionary, 28, 29, 41; in and 
around Tauride Palace, 50, 57, 70, 
113; adhere to revolution, 50/213; 
move on Petersburg, 58, 66, 145, 500- 
513, 622, 623, 629, 630, 651, 652, 
666; representatives of speak at first 
meeting of Soviet, 61, 63, 64; in 
Catherine Hall, 65, 72, 91, 92, 127; 
tear down Tsar's portrait, 74, 99; one 
'loyal* regiment of enough to destroy 
revolution, no; 'Order No. i' ad- 
dressed to, 113, 119, 128; no longer 
wandering in streets, 160; tram fares 
of, 170-172, 580; march to join 
revolution, 181-182; peasants in uni- 
form, 20 1-203, 232, 233, 347 ; opposed 
to talk of peace, 202 ; in Soviet demand 
election of officers, 204-205; attempts 
to stir up against workers, 212, 220- 
222, 232, 234, 294; regiments march 
to Tauride Palace, 218-220, 232; 
reactions to speeches opposing war, 
222, 276, 277; greet returning exiles 
at railway stations, 231; send dele- 
gations to Ex. Com. and Soviet, 234- 
236, 237, 238 ; at Finland Station and 
in procession on Lenin's arrival, 269, 
272-276; completely won over to 
Soviets, 293-296; Ex. Commission of 
passes resolution against Lenin, 298; 
Ex. Commission of sends representa- 
tives to Ex. Com., 304; in April Days, 
316, 317, 318; subject to command of 
Ex. Com. only, 319; support Bolshe- 
viks, 324, 389, 400, 403 ; rioting, loot- 
ing, deserting, 368-369; sent to deal 
with Anarchists, 387; delegates from 
Congress of Soviets sent to, 393, 395; 
pass resolutions against Bolshevik 
demonstration, 396; attitude of on 
June 10, 404; in July Days, 427, 429, 

43<>> 435, 436, 438, 44, 44*, 44*, 443, 
448-449; question of evacuation of 
from Petersburg, 559, 560, 561 ; want 
only peace, 578. See also under 
names of various regiments. 
Soviet of Workers' Deputies (Peters- 
burg), 47 and passim; elections to, 15, 
38; convened by Provisional Ex. 
Com., 39; first session in Tauride 
Palace, 52, 55, 57-64, 7, 7* 5 be- 
comes overcrowded, 84-87, 216, 
222; holds all real power, 85, 258, 
294-296, 326, 328, 331, 422, 451; 
scenes at second session, 87, 193; 
debates question of government, 136- 
144, 150-151; daily meetings cease, 
176-177; meets in White Hall, 192- 
193; greets delegates from Moscow 
Soviet, etc., 193; arranges funeral of 
victims of the revolution, 193; dis- 

cusses resumption of work, 194195; 
members included in list of Secret 
Police agents, 196-197; regarded 
'openers of the front 3 , 203, 206, 22 


22 1 

235; debates election of officers, 204- 
205; relations with Provisional 
Government, 215, 255, 312, 313; 
meets in Michael Theatre, 216; 
struggles with bourgeoisie for army, 

220-222, 232-234, 239, 276, 293, 294; 

question of representation in, 222- 
224; holds sessions in Naval Acad- 
emy, 224; attitude of to war, 235, 
239-240, 242, 249, 250, 255, 281 ; acts 
by 'peaceful conciliation', 254; petty- 
bourgeois, conciliationist majority in, 
254, 294, 296, 308, 326-327, 330; out 
of touch with Ex. Com., 259-260; 
French and British delegations visit, 
262-263; split in, 301, 321; growing 
power and popularity of, 307-308 ; in 
April Days, 317, 318, 319-320; 
political groupings in April-May, 
321-325, 359; and Coalition, 330- 

334, 335, 336, 337, 33$, 34, 358; 
leaders of discuss cancelled demon- 
stration of June 10, 396-401 ; 'official' 
demonstration, 402, 406, 411-418; 
Military Department of 53 1 ; Day of, 

>2> 594, 595, 
) : Soldiers 


5?2, 583-586, 592, 
Soviet (Petersburg) : 

82, 201, 205, 451, 560, 581, 591; 
representatives of in Ex. Com., 82; 
meets in White Hall, 87, 236, 371, 
443; in patriotic mood, 369; Lenin 
speaks to, 371 372 ; forms 'Praetorian 

Guard' of Coalition, 371; withWork- 

* ~ ' i Ex. ~ 


ers* Section, controls Ex, Com., 443, 

: Workers' Section, 323, 373, 431, 438, 
515, 635; meets in White Hall, 87, 
236, 429; hears Gorky's appeal, 209; 
filling up with Bolsheviks, 373; 
majority controlled by Bolshevik 
Central Ex. Com., 443, 616; elects 
Praesidium 491492 

Soviet Government, 282, 550, 551, 552, 
553, 554, 558, 560, 563, 571, 574, 584, 
596, 617, 623, 628, 629, 630, 632, 636, 
639> 649, 650, 652, 653, 654, 655, 656, 
657, 662, 663, 665, 668; composition 
of, 655, 656 

Soviets, 276, 381, 397, 420, 443, 487, 
491, 494, 495, 522, 523, 525, 527, 540, 
55i> 552, 5^o, 573, 574, 586, 617, 633, 
640, 646, 649; district, 181, 507; set 
up all over Russia, 213; All-Russian 
Congress of: see CONGRESS OF SOVIETS; 
All-Russian Conference of: see CON- 
FERENCE OF SOVIETS; send delegates 
from eighty-two cities to Conference, 

255 J (AH) Power to the, 282-284, 
300, 320, 338, 358, 380, 381, 384, 390, 
402, 403, 416, 41 7, 422, 423, 429, 450, 
481, 491, 523 540, 525, 547, 55, 558, 
57*, 573, 577, 5 8 2, 649; origin of m 
1905, 282-283; Kerensky speaks to, 
362; Congress of discusses relations 
with Coalition Government, 380; 
Congress performs functions of police, 
387, 388; of Yaroslavl, 489; of army, 
506; of Kronstadt, 508; of Luga, 511, 
512; Soviet Russia, 522 ; congresses of, 
577; of Peasants' Deputies, 659 

Sovremennik, 3, 21, 31, 43, 134, 225, 240, 
256, 278, 374, 410 

Somemennoye Slovo, 650 

Spiridonova, 434 

SRs (Socialist-Revolutionaries), 14, 
22 n., 51, 59, 71, 81, 82, 103, 138, 
195, 211, 228, 231 n., 278, 305, 306, 
307, 321, 322, 325, 349, 351, 353, 359, 
381, 395, 396, 397, 4", 412, 426, 434, 
435, 444, 457, 4^7, 473, 474, 4^1 n., 
487, 488, 492, 493, 496, 497, 508, 523, 
525, 530, 535, 538, 542, 543, 555, 559, 
562, 563, 568, 573, 574, 578, 581, 590, 
598, 599, 608, 610, 612, 613, 631, 632, 
634, 636, 637, 638, 644, 645, 648, 654, 
658, 660, 66 1, 662, 663, 665; in Soviet 
demand Coalition Government, 329; 
and Coalition Government, 346-348, 
350, 358; at Congress of Soviets, 378- 
379; Central Committee of, 473 

Staff Council: rejected by Military 
Revolutionary Committee, 598 

Stalin (Dzhugashvili), 393, 486, 501 ; as 
member of Ex. Com., 80, 229-230, 
240; in favour of seizing power on 
June 10, 405; Minister for National- 
ities in first Soviet Government, 655 

Stankevich, 336; member of Ex. Com., 
8 1 ; suggests review of troops on 
Champ de Mars, 135 

Star Chamber, 315 n., 359, 364, 391, 
394, 39^, 397, 4 OI 42, 46, 4 r 5, 4 r 8> 
424, 425, 426, 428, 432, 433, 435, 439, 
443, 45i, 454, 46i, 4^8, 472, 473, 474, 
487, 493, 505, 5<>9, 520, 528, 582, 607, 
6 1 8, 632 

Stasova, 405, 486 

Steklov (Nakhamkes), Y. M., 59, 108, 
127, 128, 133, 229, 377, 379, 420, 434, 
486-487, 524, 53 1 ; elected to Liter- 
ary Commission, 64; elected to Ex. 
Com., 71, 79; supports Menshevik 
group in Ex. Com., 82 ; joins Bolshe- 
viks, 82; supposed author of 'Order 
No. i 1 , 1 14; at conference with Duma 
Committee, 117-126; reports to 
Soviet, 139140, 150; discusses pro- 
gramme of Government with Su- 

INDEX 687 

khanov and Miliukov, 152-154; en- 
trusted with reorganization of 
Izvestiya, 165; one of 'new majority' 
in Ex. Com., 245, 246; member of 
Liaison Commission, 247; denounced 
by Lenin as 'revolutionary defensist', 
279, 281; speaks against Lenin at 
Social-Democratic joint meeting, 287; 
attacked in press, 297 

Stockholm, 307, 458, 486; proposed 
Socialist Conference in, 168, 366, 367 

Slolypin, 240, 532 

Strikes, 167, 170, 171, 191-192, 387, 
460, 467, 665; in Moscow, 494 

Stuchka: member of Ex. Com., 81 

Sturmer, B. V., 88, 145; in Peter-Paul 
Fortress, 410 

Sukhanov (Himmer), N. N.: in Peters- 
burg illegally, 3; speaks against alli- 
ance of workers' movement with 
Duma, 4; reviews political situation, 
programme and progress of revolu- 
tion : (problem of government to suc- 
ceed Tsarism) 6-10, 11-14, (state of 
army) 7576, (tendencies in first Ex. 
Com.) 81-83, (aims of bourgeois 
government and tasks of democracy) 
101-107, (relations of Soviet with 
Provisional Government) 187-190, 
(the 'political spectrum') 321-325, 
(Coalition Government) 330-334, 
345-352, .(Mensheyiks) 356-357, (re- 
lations within Soviet and Ex. Com.) 
359360, (Government to succeed 
Coalition) 383-384, (June 10) 402- 
406, (beginning of July) 422-423, 
(July Days) 456, 479~482, (Lenin's 
disappearance) 471-472, (Kornilov 
revolt) 501-502, 503, (parties after 
Kornilov revolt) 522-526, (Bolsheviks 
and Pre-Parliament) 541-543, (pro- 
gramme, tactics, and organization 
of October Revolution) 547-556, 
(mood of masses in October) 558 
559, (Kerensky's position in October) 
564-565, (October Revolution) 587- 
589, 593~5943 (Menshevik- Inter- 
nationalists in October) 631-633, 
(Lenin's Land Decree) 660-661 ; 
attends meeting at Sokolov's flat, 
16-22; at Gorky's, 23-24, 25, 27- 
30, 42, 43; sees conditions in 
streets, 26-27, 40-41; estimate of 
character and political potentialities 
of personalities of the revolution: 
Kerensky 30-33, Miliukov 53-55, 
Steklov 165, Bogdanov 165-166, 
Gvozdev 167-168, Chkheidze 177- 
178, Kamenev 225-226, Lieber 229, 
Stalin 229-230, Dan 256-257, Lenin 
280, 289-292, Chernov 305-307, 

688 INDEX 

Martov 352-356, Lunacharsky 374- 
376; makes his way to Tauride Pal- 
ace, 44-46; discusses situation with 
Rzhevsky, 51, and Miliukov, 53, 55- 
57; at first meeting of Soviet, 59-64; 
elected to Literary Commission, 64; 
elected to Ex. Com., 71, 79; sleeps in 
White Hall, 73; supports Mensheviks 
in Ex. Com., 82; joins Menshevik- 
Internationalists, 82, 358; arranges 
guard, supplies, etc., for printing- 
shop, 89-92; offends Kerensky, 94; 
at dinner at Manukhin's, 97; walks 
through streets at night, 98-99, 159- 
160, 181-182; advises Kerensky on 
joining Government, 101, 137-138; 
opposes meeting between Rodzianko 
and Tsar, 110-112; at conference 
with Duma Committee, 114-126; 
spends night at Nikitsky's, 134, 179, 
182-184; speaks to crowd outside 

Tauride Palace, 148-149, 157-158; 
confers with Miliukov on Provisional 
Government's programme, 150-157; 
arranges for printing of Provisional 
Government's proclamation, 156- 
157; editor of Novqya gkizn, 168, 169; 
member of Ex. Com. Press-Licensing, 
Labour, and other Commissions, 169; 
talks to Frankorussky on agrarian 
problems, 1 85 ; consulted by Grohman 
on economic situation, 185-187; ex- 
amines list of Secret Police agents, 
196-197; asks Gorky to write Pro- 
clamation to the Peoples of the 
World, 197; re-drafts Gorky's Mani- 
festo to the Peoples of the World, 203, 
205-206; champions freedom of 
speech in Ex. Com., 207-208; Kshe- 
sinskaya appeals to, 209-2 1 1 ; cross- 
examines Kornilov on proposed offen- 
sive, 216 ; talks to Kamenev about 
Bolshevik position, 225-227; invited 
by Tereshchenko to help in reorgani- 
zation of national finances, 230; agi- 
tates for ending of war, 239-241 ; 
clashes with Tsereteli, 241-243, 401; 
accepts combined resolution on de- 
fence and peace, 244; quotes Nicholas 
IFs manifesto, 251; feels unsuited to 
be official speake'r for Ex. Com., 258; 
at meeting in People's Hall, 259; 
meets Lenin at Finland Station, 265, 
269-274; follows Lenin's procession, 
275-276; talks with Lenin, 278-279; 
hears Lenin's first speech to Bolshevik 
leaders, 280-285; attends Social- 
Democratic joint meeting, 285-288; 
discusses Lenin with Skobelev and 
Miliukov, 288-289; talks to Miliukov 
about general situation, 300-303; 

sent by Ex. Com. to welcome Cher- 
nov, 305; speaks in defence of Flatten, 
311-312; reports unsatisfactory pos- 
ition of Liaison Commission, 312; 
member of Homogeneous Bureau, 
315 n.; with peasants' deputation in 
Marian Palace, 327-329; votes in 
favour of Coalition, 334; member of 
Ex. Com. delegation on Coalition 
Government, 336-337, 338, 339; in 
Taganka, 354, 410; visits Peter- Paul 
Fortress to remove Vyrubova, 407- 
411; suggests propaganda in favour 
of 'official Soviet' demonstration, 
412; is sent to Durnovo villa, 412- 
414; attends Interdistrict Conference, 
419-421; protests at Central Ex. 
Com. meeting, 434; with Preobraz- 
hensky Regiment in July Days, 436- 
437; writes appeals to workers not to 
demonstrate or strike, 460; takes a 
holiday, 489-490; loses his boots, 
493-494; electioneers for Mensheviks, 
496-497; called representative of 
'petit-bourgeois democracy* by Lenin, 
516; visits Palchinsky at General 
Staff, 517-519; loses seat on Ex. 
Com., 530, and is co-opted, 531; at 
meeting of 'Elders', 532-533; Bolshe- 
vik meeting held at house of on 
October 10, 55.6-557; accused by 
Lenin of betraying revolution, 574; 
and Gorky's twenty-fifth anniversary 
as a writer, 579, 580; at mass-meeting 
in October, 583-585; last meeting 
with Kerensky, 608; tries to keep 
Menshevik-Internationalists from 
leaving Congress of Soviets, 640, 644- 
Sukhanov (Himmer), Mme., 419, 500, 

556, 580, 581 

Sukhomlinov, V. A., 97, 145 
Supply: problems of, 3, 5, 7, 13, 14, 18, 
49, 62, 185, 186, 187, 358, 507, 552- 
553 574> 584, 666; Supply Com- 
mission, 39, 62, 89, 164, 185, 507; 
Peshekhonov speaks at Congress of 
Soviets on, 382 ; Central Supply Com- 
mittee, 507, Government policy in 
relation to, 539 
Suvorovsky Prospect, 181, 442 
Sverdlov, 581, 604, 617 
'Swamp', 82, 228-229, 245, 304, 307 

Taganka (Moscow prison), 354, 410 

Tambov : hunger riots in, 533 

Tauride Gardens, 17, 22, 666 

Tauride Palace, 23 and passim; scene of 
first session of Soviet, 39, 47; crowds 
inside and outside, 46, ,50, 64-65, 78, 

84,87, 89-93, ioo, 131, 148-149; 1 73. 
176, 431, 433, .440, 443, 444, 448, 453, 
459; Ministerial Pavilion and White 
Hall galleries of used for political 
prisoners, 65, 72, 87, 97, 99; un- 
guarded, 98, 133; almost empty, 114, 
127, 157, 177; filled with parading 
regiments, 219 

Tauride Palace : left wing as seat of Soviet 
and its organs, 50, 70, 111-112, 174 

: right wing as seat of Provisional 

Government, etc., 50, 59, 69, 70, 91, 
100, 111-112, 114, 117, 140, 144, 150, 
151, 153, i57-*58, 172, 178, 204 

Tauride Street, 100, 181 

Tenishevsky School, 497 

Teodorovich: member of first Soviet 
Government, 655 

Tereshchenko, M. I., 6, 152, 327, 335, 
379, 38i, 4, 459., $08, 509, 520, 597, 
645; Finance Minister in first Pro- 
visional Government, 126, 146; at 
Ex. Com., 230; in 'Left Seven' group, 
249; 'insulted' by Sukhanov, 251; 
direct relations with Allied Govern- 
ments, 364; member of Coalition 
Governments, 488 

Terioki, 256 

Third Estate, 7 n., 75, 332, 346, 503; 
flocks to Soviet, 86 

Thomas, A.: received at station by Mi- 
liukov, 309; visits Ex. Com., 361; 
at Moscow Soviet, 369-370 

Thorne, Will: member of British dele- 
gation to Russia, 261 

Tikhonov, 24, 43, 44, 58, 128 

'Timokhin, Captain' : put in command 
of printing-shop by Sukhanov, 91-92 

Tolstoy, Leo: War and Peace, 91, 465; 
'not intelligent enough for his own 
genius', 290 

Torneo, 199 

Trade Unions, 39, 43, 105, 373, 388, 
507, 536, 5^0, 561 ,* spring up all over 
Russia, 213; All-Russian Railway- 
men's, 664, 665 

Trams, 232, 369, 581; not running, 16, 
86, 439, 459 ; used for barricades, 23 ; 
restoration of service, 170; soldiers' 
fares on, 170-172, 580; reappear in 
Petersburg streets, 206-207; in Mos- 
cow not running, 494 

Trepov, 6, 17,51 

Trinity Bridge, 23, 26, 42, 44, 21 1, 415, 
500, 643 

Trinity Square, 462 

Trotsky, 59, 81 n., 290, 305, 353, 354, 
355, 35 6 > 359-3 6 o 372, 374? 375, 37, 
383* 39* 393, 395 396 399> 4*8, 419, 
420, 42 1, 445, 452, 460, 466, 467, 479, 
480, 481 n., 486, 491, 531, 532, 537 

INDEX 689 

538, 553, 554, 624; misinterprets 
slogan of 'Power to the Soviets , 283; 
arrested en route to Russia, 309; re- 
leased, 311; arrives in Petersburg, 
339; speaks in Ex. Com., 340; cor- 
rects Sukhanov's recollection of 
Novqya %hizn conference, 377; speaks 
at Congress of Soviets, 382-384; r61e 
of on June 10, 406; and July Days, 
432, 434, .435, 439; rescues Chernov, 
445-447, 480; arrested, 481 ; released, 
527; Chairman of Petersburg Soviet, 
528, 529, 598; at Pre-Parliament, 
536, 538-54<>> 54i, 556; in October, 
55 6 , 557, 562, 566, 578, 579, 580, 581, 
582, 583-585, 59i, 596, 598, 615, 617, 
627, 628, 636, 637, 639, 644, 645, 646, 
654, 656, 663, 664, 667; People's 
Commissar for Foreign Affairs in 
first Soviet Government, 655 
Trubetskoy Bastion, 408, 409 
Trubochny Factory, 442, 578 
Trudoviks, 4n., I4n., i7n., 81, 85, 
135, 1 66, 206, 213, 321; demand 
Coalition Government, 329 
Tsar, 411., 8, 36, 66, 99, 101, 121, 181, 
184, 3 14, 364, 407, 552 ; waiting-room 
of at Finland Station, 269, 270, 272. 
See also NICHOLAS n 
Tsarina, 407 

Tsarism, 4, 6, 8, n, 12, 13, 22, 40, 41, 
45, 46, 48, 54, 57, 63, 76, 80, 85, 
95, 98, 104, 171, 186, 217, 219, 

136, 593, 615, 

75, 99, 10 3, r ^4J without organized 
force in Petersburg, 45, 88; possible 
return of, 123 
Tsarist generals, 516 

Government, 46, 51, 80, 145, 587; 
barricades itself in Admiralty, 66, 67, 
88; Ministers under arrest, 52, 64, 88, 
97, 142; war policy of, 217, 240 

officers, 65 

troops, 45, 66, 501 
Tsarskoe-Selo, 100, 124, _ 

666, 667: Tsar and his family de- 
tained in Palace, 200, 201 
Tsereteli, H. G-, 6, 168, 203, 257, 258, 
285, 300, 301, 322, 323, 335, 336, 352, 
357, 359, 364, 37i, 372, 379, 380, 383, 
389, 401, 403, 404, 4H> 4*5, 4^7> 4*8, 
425, 426, 427, 432, 435, 449, 453, 457, 
472, 473, 474, 497, 52, 513, 520, 524, 
528, 532, 536-537; arrives from 
Siberia, 231; appears in Ex. Com., 
240; attacks Sukhanov's speech on 
peace, 241-243; proposes and carries 
combined resolution, 243-245; one 
of 'new majority* in Ex. Com., 245, 

690 INDEX 

246 ; joins Liaison Commission, 247- 
251; supports Provisional Govern- 
ment document in Ex. Com., 251- 
252; refuses to meet Lenin, 265; de- 
nounced by Lenin as "revolutionary 
defensist', 279, 281; speaks in op- 
position to Lenin at Social-Demo- 
cratic joint meeting, 286-287; speaks 
to demonstration of war-wounded, 
299; reports to Ex. Com. on Liaison 
Commission, 312-313; supports Co- 
alition in Soviet, 337, 3385 Minister 
of Posts and Telegraphs in Coalition 
Government, 339, 340, 349; speaks 
against Bolsheviks in discussion of 
June 10, 398-399, 400; Minister of 
Interior and of Posts and Telegraphs 
in second Coalition Government, 
474, 476, 478, 487, 488, 490, 492 
Tversky Street, 22, 23 

Ufa, 667 

United Internationalists, 379, 524 

University of Petersburg: rumoured 

destruction of, 157, 158 
Uritsky, M. S., 230-231, 420, 421, 434, 

439, 49i 

Vandervelde, E. : at Ex. Com. meetings, 

Vecheslov, Dr., 58 

'Vienna' restaurant, 419, 500, 610 

Vissarionov, 410 

Vitebsk, 513 

Voitinsky, V. S., 338, 618 

Volhynian Regiment: mutiny of, 36; 
received by Duma, 37; represented at 
first meeting of Soviet, 61 ; marches to 
Tauride Palace, 218; regarded as 
doubtful on June 10, 404; in July 
Days, 442; in October, 582 

Volodarsky (Goldstein), M. M., 491, 
529, 562 

Vperyod, 377 

Vyborg Side, 23, 316, 386, 387, 388, 
390, 429, 496, 497, 620; all Bolsheviks 
and Anarchists, 395 

Vyrubova: transferred from Peter- 
Paul Fortress, 407-41 1 

War, 3, 7, 8, 104, 123, 183-184, 206, 
216, 217, 219, 221, 227, 239, 244, 331, 
345, 502, 503, 522, 537, 539, 548, 549, 
552, 574, 578, 584, 59 J , 593, 629, 630, 
636, 656, 657; to the End (to Total 
Victory), 4, 5, 12, 102, 218, 235, 240, 
247, 295, 299, 361; liquidation of, 8, 
9, 202, 213; Down with the, n, 12, 

19, 20, 222, 317, 391; opposition to, 

11-12, 19, 20, 107, 264, 276, 369-371, 

534; support of, 102, 103, 109, 215- 
216, 218-220, 318, 361-366; threat- 
ens to cause collapse of national 
economy, 186; Russian offensive, 
215-216, 372, 431; workers' attitude 
to, 221, 358; can only be ended by 
world revolution, 227, 257, 281; 
Soviet and Ex. Com. attitude to, 109, 
2 35, 2 39~ 2 45, 255; Provisional 
Government's proclamation on aims 
of, 249-253, 310, 314; Bolshevik 
resolution on, 257; revolution as 
reaction against, 265; loan, 288; 
Russian offensive defeated, 477; 
debts, 525; acute situation at front, 

War- wounded : demonstrations of, 299, 


Warsaw Station, 468, 667 

Weinstein, 504 

White Hall (Duma chamber) of Tau- 
ride Palace, 185, 236, 237, 263, 373, 
394, 433, .445, 45?; galleries used to 
house political prisoners, 65, 72, 87; 
Soldiers' and Workers' Sections of 
Soviet meet in, 87, 236, 371, 429, 443; 
Tsar's portrait torn doxvn, 74; gal- 
leries cleared of prisoners, 177; scene 
of meetings of Soviet, 192, 193, 205; 
too small for Soviet plenum, 216 

Wilson, 241 

Winter Palace (seat of Kerensky's 
Governments), 106, 168, 200 n., 492, 
498, 506, 508, 509, 516, 517, 520, 528, 
534, 565, 583, 587, 588, 589, 590, 593, 
594, 603, 604, 612, 613, 617, 618, 621, 
622, 623, 625, 627, 636; besieged and 
taken, 638-639, 640-643, 648 

Workers, 4 and passim ; Workers' Group 
of Central War Industries Com- 
mittee, 38-39; attempts to stir up 
soldiers against, 212, 220-222, 232- 
234, 294; workers' control of industry, 
555, 570, 623, 629 

Worldwide (Socialist) revolution, 103, 
104, 227, 257, 273, 274, 281, 282, 284, 
647, 657 

Yaroslavl, 489, 490, 492, 667 
Tedinstvo, 260 

Yefremov, I. I., 35, 53, 55; Minister of 
Public Welfare in third Coalition, 


Yermansky, 151 

Yermolenko, Lieutenant, 458 

Yurenev, I., 336, 434, 562; member of 
Ex. Com., 81; Minister of Com- 
munications in third Coalition, 489 

Yurevich, 49, 113; Civil Governor of 
Petersburg, 112, 115-116 

Zakharevsky Street, 436 

Zalutsky: see PETROV 

Zarudny: Minister of Justice in third 
Coalition, 489 

Zemstvo, 7, 85, 123, 383 

Zenzinov, V. M., 22, 23, 131, 609; 
member of Ex. Com., 81; Kerensky's 
faithful attendant, 137, 140, 204 

Zhitomir: hunger riots in, 333 

*Zimmerwald position', Zimmerwald- 
ites, 3, 8, ii, 12, 14, 18, 81, 82, 106, 
131, 167, 168, 206, 221, 2265 227, 228, 

INDEX 691 

229, 240, 242, 243, 252, 253, 256, 257, 
258, 261, 264, 265, 301, 302, 305, 307, 
321, 322, 345, 349, 489, 495; 'Left 
Zimmerwald bloc', 227, 230, 240, 
241, 245; in minority in Ex. Com. s 
246; Siberian Zimmerwaldism, 252, 

Zinoviev (Radomyslsky), G. E., 279, 
280, 324, 373, 377, 391, 393, 396, 
460-461, 463, 470, 471, 472, 486, 501, 
525, 526, 551, 556, 557, 571, 572, 576, 
626, 627, 630, 655, 656; opposes Co- 
alition on behalf of Bolsheviks, 337 
338; against seizure of power on 
June 10, 405 

Znamensky Square, 19, 66, 430 

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ON RELIGION: Speeches to Its Cultured Despisers. Intro, by R. Otto 18/36 
of the Middle Ages TB/48 





Richard Niebuhr. Vol. I, TB/7ij Vol. H, TB/72 
THE ORIGINS OF CULTURE [Part I of "Primitive Culture"]. Introduction by 

Paul Radin TB/33 
RELIGION IN PRIMITIVE CULTURE [Part II of "Primitive Culture"]. Introduction 

by Paul Radin 18/34 
EARLIEST CHRISTIANITY: A History of the Period A.D. 30-750. Introduction 

by F. C. Grant. Vol. /, TB/SS; Vol. H, TB/54 
A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY I: Greek, Roman, Medieval TB/s8 
A HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY H: Renaissance, Enlightenment, Modern TB/sg